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THE 



PORT ADMIRAL 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 



VOL. II. 



SECOND EDITION OF 

CAVENDISH: 

OR, 

THE PATRICIAN AT SEA. 

HIGHLY CORRECTED. 

In Three Volumes, Post Octavo, Price £1 lis. 6d. 



'••Cavendish' is a novel of very considerable talent. There are many 
scenes in it deserving high commendation. The author is a man of observ- 
ation and talent, and what is mote, a staunch Reformer. He proposes a va- 
riety of reforms, both in the body of his work, and in an appendix of sugges- 
tions which are well worthy of the attention of the Admiralty." — Westminster 
Quarterly Review. 

'• This work is making a good deal of stir in certain of the upper and pro- 
fessional circles ; the talent of the author, under proper restraints, is far from 
inconsiderable. He has also evidently mixed with the higher ranks in society, 
and his book has some striking political matter to attract public attention ; in- 
deed we are inclined to surmise (however improbable the supposition) that the 
out-of-the-way form of a novel has been in this instance adopted to forward a 
particular political purpose. We cannot too strongly recommend to general 
notice the admirable notes in the third volume." — Literary Gazette. 

" The chief object of the author seems to be to expose in a dramatic way, 
the cruelties and oppressions practised with impunity in the British navy. 
The story has the advantage of being simple and explicit. The author is a 
clever man certainly." — The Athenceum. 

" The author is a naval reformer, and has written his book not only with 
the purpose of amusing his readers, but of procuring changes in the important 
matter of ship government. The author is not without a talent for dramatic 
dialogue, and for the exhibition of character, and he completely makes out 
his case of tyranny, caprice, and oppression. The notes which close the third 
volume are extremely judicious, and we hope that they may attract general 
attention." — The Spectator. 

" 'Cavendish' is a work that maybe considered siii generis. It is not a 
novel— it is not a book of travels — it is not an auto-biography — it is not a po- 
litical treatise, but it is all these in one. The author has all the characteristics 
of a sailor in full perfection, and he displays them all in this singular work, 
the merits and defects of which we shall leave to be discovered and appre- 
ciated by that best method of all in the case of a work that will be generally 
read." — Court Journal. 

" We regard ' Cavendish' as a very clever work. He is a staunch Reformer, 
whether of naval or general abuses. The account of the battle of Navarino 
is an admirable picture."— TAe Courier. 



THE 



PORT ADMIRAL 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 



BY THE AUTHOR OF 

" CAVENDISH." 



IN THREE VOLUMES. 
VOL. II. 



LONDON : 
COCHRANE AND M^CRONE 

11, WATERLOO PLACE, PALL MALL 

1833. 



TO HER HE J^GHT EE GENTLENESS: THE STERN • 
HAVE DEEPER THOUGHTS THAN YCUR DULL EYES DISCERNJ 
AND WHEN THEY LOVE, YOUR SMILERS GUESS NOT HOW, 
BEATS THE STRONG HEART THOUGH LESS THE LIPS AVOW." 



i 



8^3 



THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

A TALE OF THE WAR. 



CHAPTER I. 



'•' And thus as he called them by title and name, 

They entered, and breakfast was served as they came. ' 

The Port Admiral now led the way into the 
breakfast-room, the folding windows of which 
opened upon the ten-ace. Here Croiser found the 
breakfast party assembled, and after glancing his 
eye round the old oak panneUing, on which hung 
various family portraits by Sir Peter Lely and 
Sir Joshua Reynolds, he was introduced to the 
Admiral's guests. 

" This, Captain Croiser, is my sister. Lady Sap- 

VOL. II. B 



2 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

phira AfFectus — Auntie SafFy we call her — but 
that's only for friends, seeing she doesn't like to 
go by that tally." 

" Sir Richard, don't be such a bore. — The Port 
Admiral, Sir," turning to Croiser, " always seems 
to think it necessary to enter into family details — 
but we," drawing up her majestic person, " forgive 
him these slight solecisms in consideration of the 
constant society of sailor-captains in which he is 
condemned to mix— as well as the want of that 
accuracy and closeness of style which a mathe- 
matical education " 

" There, there, stopper Lady Saff, we want 
none of your mathematics here, your Greek and 
your Latin. It's enough for me to know plain 
sailing, a dash of trigonometry and navigation, 
and the nack of breaking an enemy's line — 
none of your hick, heck, hock, and other three- 
decker line o' battle words — taking an old 
officer six months to get one out — your hypo- 
thenuse of the triangle or whatever your rig- 
marole may be. We want none of that, do we 
Bombast, old Boy?" bestowing a hearty slap 
of his hand on the shoulder of a mean little figure 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 3 

which quivered beneath its weight. Tlie little 
oddity thus addressed, was a person under the 
middle height, spare and meagre in figure, but 
yet more shrivelled in countenance ; the latter 
bearing that indefinable expression which we 
always associate with an itinerant Methodist 
preacher. The nose and hps prominent, the fore- 
head receding, the eye half shut, and the mouth 
drawn down, presented a character contemptible 
to others, yet evidently one most satisfactory to 
itself; while a vacant wonder-stricken appeai*ance 
about the eye-brows bespoke that habit of ex- 
aggeration which in reahty formed so great a part 
of his character. To complete his personal at- 
tractions, — he wore on his roimd shoulders an old 
black coat, which, to judge by its loose and slo- 
venly fit, might have come fi-om the bag of an old 
clothes-man— duly shaken to give him the upper- 
most. His trowsers and waistcoat might have 
had the same origin, the latter being much stained 
and the former tight at his feet — thence bulging 
out into an immense bag at the hips to contain 
his hands and anvbits of biscuit, crusts of bread — 
old nails — pieces of minerals — odd stones, or 

B -2 



singular plants, gradually filling during their ex- 
istence in his service, to be emptied only when 
their tattered state condemned them to the bag of 
a Solomon of lower note. 

This interesting personage called himself a great 
traveller, a greater author, and a captain in His 
Majesty's navy to boot, and certainly never did 
naval captain appear such a fright in plain clothes. 
Though I must confess, however sorry for the 
honour of the cloth, that the old regime of these 
officers generally resembles that of bumbailiffs, or 
retired Bow-street myrmidons, in apparel, more 
than anything else. 

But to proceed, this Captain Beatall Bombast 
was once a midshipman under the Port Admiral, 
and having been invited to spend a fortnight with 
his old officer, he became so delighted with his 
quarters, that he honoured them with a much 
longer stay than had been at first contemplated^ 
until he seemed to have set himself down as a 
domiciliated toady or hanger-on of the Admiral. 
In this design, however, he was violently opjoosed 
by the brother of the last officer, the chaplain of 
the dock-yard, who, though somewhat cracked, 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 5 

had more than sufficient discernment to pierce the 
character of Bombast, and deteimined by his 
sturdy and relentless opposition to effect that 
which the good-natured indolence of the Admiral 
would not let him bring about — the ejectment of 
the captain, and with it that of his fiiend Major 
Puff — a yet more ignoble animal, whom he had 
the impudence to ask on a risitto himself, hke the 
Town mouse in Pope's fable. 

The Major himself was, it was shrewdly sus- 
pected, only a Ueutenant, but he boldly stuck out 
for his majority in the militia, to vrhich redoubt- 
able corps he belonged, and therefore it was as a 
matter of comlesy awarded him ; but as to his 
head-quarters or the county to which he belonged — 
these were Httle topics which he deigned to men- 
tion but rarely. 

Having acquired some knowledge of the alpha- 
bet in his youth, he now eked out the paltry- pit- 
tance of his half-pay by murdering such " poor 
devils of authors " as he could hurt or injure by 
his silly remarks ; and edited a sort of periodical, 
very famous as the organ of sundry old women in 



6 THE rORT ADMIRAL, 

the army and navy, as well as the actual sex in 
real life. 

Of these last, he was the " god among the small 
fry" — " Wonderful Major Puff! How can he, at 
his age f — Oh dear, it's quite charming to see how 
he hobbles along !" said they, and for these " gra- 
tifying voices" the wonderful Major honoured 
them with his company to tea twice a week — and 
returned the compliment twice a yeari when all 
the deaf subalterns of marines and paralytic half- 
pay Ueutenants of the navy congregated together 
in the wonderful major's smoky apartment, to re- 
count how implicitly they pinned their wonderful 
behef on his wonderful productions, which, truth to 
say, contained more wonders than the celebrated 
"nine wonders of the world." Then would the won- 
derful Major get up on his leg, — for I grieve to con- 
fess that he possessed no more, — and make them a 
speech to the best of his usually-much-fuddled 
abihties; assuring them with a triumphant air, 
that the " United Anchor and Blunderbuss 
Journal had risen no less than ten numbers with- 
in the short space of eighteen months," — then 



A TALE OF THE WAR. / 

came his proud determination ever to support it 
with the same ability, and down he sat, saying : — 
" But, gentlemen, we may yet be deceived, 'tis hard 
to say how the cat will jump. — Alas 1 the chances 
of war are often most disastrous." — A sigh follow- 
ed, accompanied by a gentle stroke of his hand 
along the wooden member which supported him, 
leading the deluded hearers to suppose that he had 
lost his leg in the capture of Quebec at least. 
But alas ! no such thing, — a fortnight after his 
being presented to the miUtia ensigncy, he went 
out " for a day's spree" with one of his former 
acquaintances, afoot-boy, and the latter, not relish- 
ing the lately assumed superiority of his previous 
equal, refused to pay the tavern score for their 
beer, and accused the Wonderful Major of " spung- 
ing on him all day";— hereupon they fought it 
out with the readiest weapons, to wit, those of na- 
ture's own providing, and the mihtary man re- 
ceived a fracture of the leg which rendered imme- 
diate amputation necessary. A dehcacy of senti- 
ment always prevented the wonderful major from 
dwelling on these minute details with any perspi- 
cuity, although he would frequently lead the by- 



8 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

staiiders to form high ideas of his martial achieve- 
ments by some well-timed and distant allusion, 
such as — " Those who have testified their patriot- 
ism by the loss of a — a — very serious affair, sir, 
I assure you," — and again, " There are misfor- 
tunes to be met with in the service, sir, which no 
pensions, however honourable, can make up to a 
man. To think, gentlemen, what I have suffered ! 
— But men of merit don't dwell on these things — 
they are left behind in those posthumous memoirs 
which the world always demands of distinguished 
characters." 

During the time of his service, now long past, 
he had once been ordered over to Ireland, but was 
counteraianded by the time he had reached Cork. 
As is often the case with exceedingly weak or silly 
men, this transmigration from the place of his na- 
tivity, formed an era in his life that was never for- 
gotten, as the reader will see ; and from the mo- 
ment he returned to his country quarters, the 
wonders he had seen and experienced in his tra- 
vels formed a never failing theme. 

To proceed. Captain Beatall Bombast being ad- 
dressed by the Admiral, felt rather at a loss between 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 9 

his wish to give the accustomed assent to all that 
his superior said, and the dread which he enter- 
tained of Lady Sapphira, whose tongue, let me 
inform thee, Reader, was much more pleasant to 
encounter on paper than in person. 

" Why, truly, Admiral," he repUed with a strong 
nasal accent, which still more confirmed the 
stranger's prepossessions that he had at some 
period of his life twanged under a hedge, " though 
this is a most delicate point to determine, I should 
opine that we officers are not required to have that 
varied skill in accomplishments which the more 
polished sex can boast. As you say, Sir Richard, 
it is our pai't to guard our coimtry, whereas the 
leisure enjoyed by the ladies cannot be better 
employed than in devoting themselves tp those eru- 
dite studies which do honour to human nature. 
Now, sir, in the Longbow Islands this is the 



" Wliere? Captain Bombast," inquired Lady 
Affectus, somewhat soothed by his speech. 

" In the Longbow Islands, Madam, — you'll find 
it in my last book of travels — I was going to say, 
that there, while all the men go hunting and fishing, 

B 3 



10 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

the ladies of the tribes stay at home and furtlier 
the progress of hterature and the fine arts. " 

" ' Literature and the fine arts,' Captain Bombast. 
What, savages?" 

" Oh dear ! yes, Lady Sapphira, they've twelve 
colleges and three universities — though to be sure 
they never would let us see them." 

" In — deed. Never knew — it. " 

"Oh yes! Ma'am," said Major Puff, the 
toadey's toadey, " a fact ; for when I was abroad 
in Ireland " 

" When he was ^ abroad in Ireland.' — What a 
fool ! " broke forth from the stout but cynical looking 
brother of the Port Admiral, the Rev. Nathaniel 
Salisbury, who was sitting in a high-backed easy 
chair, resting on his elbows and looking down on his 
feet. The latter were placed in an inverted position, 
that is, the toes were pointed inwards towards each 
other, and the heels separated vice versa. Every 
other second, the ball of each foot was alternately 
hfted, and then suddenly struck on the carpet, 
the heel itself remaining fixed as a pivot, by 
which means the dust collected in the soling was 
suddenly expelled by a small hole in the stitching, 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 11 

having the effect, on a pigmy scale, of a cannon 
discharged from a ship's side ; while by moving 
the members in different positions, the owner was 
pleased to say it represented a frigate-action. 

This new toy he had only found out within the last 
week, and he therefore pursued its enjoyment with 
all the fondness which man has for novelty, while 
the cunning twinkle of insanity in his eye agreed in- 
differently weU with such a singulai* amusement. 
Among the many eccentric traits in his character, 
the foremost was a habit of uttering his thoughts 
aloud with such an absence of mind as to be 
msensible to the effects produced on his hearers. 
It was in one of these fits that he uttered his 
opinion on the WonderM Major's incongruity, 
who having always been accustomed to regsird his 
journey to Ireland as a piece of foreign service, 
had, by frequent repetition of the fact, got too 
much into the habit of thus expressing himself 
to get rid of it. 

" ' Abroad in Ireland ' Sir ! " repeated the chaplain, 
raising his head and addressing the other. "Do 
you know what you talk about, Sir ? Ireland's a 
part of Great Britain." 



12 THE PORT ADMIRAL, j 

" Stuff, Brother, it isn't that,'''' inten'upted 
Lady Sapphira — ^never better pleased than when 
contradicting. 

" But I say it is that, my Lady Saffron — with 
your stuff. " 

" Pooh ! Sir, Pooh ! One can never differ from 
you sailor people without your growing scurrilous." 

" ' Scurrilous P You don't know what it means." 

" Don't I indeed, Sir! — Then at least you ought 
to do so, for you have enough of it on board a 
ship." 

" How can you tell, ma'am, any thing about 
ships, you who take deuced good care never to go 
nearer than half a mile to one ? " 

^' No, indeed. I've no wish to be poisoned with 
your horrid pitch, when I can leani all I want 
from seeing you on shore, and books." 

" ' Books' — there you go again, always hooks P 

" Books, Sir ! yes. — ^Why to hear you talk, one 
would think that you were educated in Kam- 
schatka— that you had never read a page of the 
divine TuUy, or a passage of the impassioned 
Demosthenes." 

" Well, that's more than one would tliink of 
you." 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 13 

" Pooh 1 I say again, one would think that you 
knew not a classic from a cat, and had never stu- 
died the hypothenuse of a right angled triangle 
in your life. — Why don't you prove it? — you can't 
prove it ; you sailor people can only assert a thing, 
and then swear fifty oaths that it is so — you can't 
prove it, I say." 

" ' Prove it !' Yes, I can prove it." 

" Stuff! no such thing." 

" But I say I can." 

" You know you can't ; or if you can — do it." 

" Well, so I win — Now let me see, what was 
it about?" 

" What — was — it — about?" repeated Lady Sap- 
phira, trjdng to recoUect herself in vain. — " Well 
truly, that's a pretty thing, to expect that /'m to 
tell you what it was about ! — I want to hear you 
prove it, that's what I'm to do." 

" Well so I wiU, if you can say what it was." 

*' ' Say what it was,^ indeed ! No, you're to 
prove it, but you see you can't, and now you pre- 
tend you don't know what it was about, — that 
won't do for me — it may do for you sailor people 
— ^but / see through it — you're beaten." 

" ' Beaten !' No, I'm not beaten, Lady Saffron, 



14 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

you know it. I see what it is, youVe forgot- 
ten the starting point as well as I, but this is 
always the way with you blue- stockings, you 
pretend to what you know nothing about — you've 
no more reason than Tom ColUns's cat, and 
when it comes to the push, you get off through 
your cunning — bother a fellow out of his what- 
d'ye-call-it, and then cry out that you have 
won the day; but I'll get to windward of you 
yet. Miss Saifey, I will. Margiee dear," tiu:n- 
ing to his favourite, " what was it we set out 
with?" 

" Why I fear, my dear uncle, that I have got some- 
what entangled as well as yourself, but here — your 
coffee is cooling, and if you w^ll drink this cup, 
I'll endeavour to recollect in the meantime." 

" Bravo — my hearties — ha, ha, hah ! Now that's 
what I call a regular set-to — go it, Nat, — go it 
Saffy— gun for gun and scorn all favours. But 
come. Captain Croiser, though they may choose 
to hold an argument in this manner, it's no 
sort of reason that we should'nt get a bit of break- 
fast. Chatty ! — Margiee ! — why holloa there, girls ! 
here's your knight-errant wants a seat !" 

" Bring him here, Bunting, and if he'll promise 



A TALE OF THE W.iE. 15 

to behave himself, he shall sit between me and 
Margiee." 

" "WTiat is our guest's name r " inquired the 
chaplain, eyeing him very steadily. 

" Croiser, brother. Captain Croiser." 

" Good name ; — Captain Croiser, happy to make 
your acquaintance. My name, Sir, is the Rev. Na- 
thaniel Salisbury. I have the honour to be tlie rec- 
tor of Donomore, in the see of Dui'ham, presented 
to me by my particular friend the Duke of Dare- 
devil, whose scarf I also wear as private chaplain ; 
they call me Master of Aits at Brazen Nose Col- 
lege, Oxford, and chaplain to H. M. Dockyard, 
at Plymouth. My principles, sir, are concise ; as 
well in poUtics as in rehgion — 1 fear God and 
honour the King" 

" 'And curse the French,' say Nat.;" but the 
clergyman took no notice of this inten-ujDtion from 
his brother, and went on with his exposition which 
he generally repeated to every stranger. " These 
ai'e my nieces, sir, that is Charlotte, and this is 
Margarita, or the pearl of the ocean." 

" From the Greek word /t/a^yaj^ira," interrupted 
Lady Sapphira. 



16 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

" Come, my Lady Saffron, don't break into my 
conversation in that manner. I suppose this is 
what you call the closeness and polish of a ma- 
thematical education." 

" * Break in' — 'pack of nonsense, Brother, it's no 
break in— I appeal to you. Captain Bombast." 

" Why truly. Lady Sapphira, as far as my know- 
ledge goes " 

" That's a very short way ! " muttered the reve- 
rend Nathaniel. 

" Lady Sapphira, it is always permitted to every 
one to enter into the conversation. For when I 
was at the Longbow Islands, which every one ad- 
mits to be one of the most pohshed of countries — 
Do they not, major?" 

" Oh yes, captain, I heard of nothing else during 
the time I remained abroad at Cork." 

" Exactly. — Well, my lady, at the Longbow 
Islands the things as common as — as — you may 
say as pea-soup, my Lady." 

" * As pea-soup'? — Indeed — never — knew — it," 
drawled out her ladyship, who possessed two dis- 
tinct moods, the hot and argumentative, and the im- 
perturbable and affected ; in the foraier she poured 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 17 

forth a continued flow of high learning ; in the 
latter a stiing of hard names with a lisp most ini- 
mitable. 

"Pea-soup, eh! Captain Bombast? Well now 
that's what I call a classical simile," retunied the 
scholar of Brazen Nose. 

" And why not, Sir ? " inquired I^ady Sapphira, 
taking the part of her ally — " Why not pea-soup, 
as weU as the res frumentaricd of the immortal 
Julius, 1 should like you to tell me?" But in- 
stead of replying to this question, the chaplain 
turned to his brother the Admiral. 

" I'U propose to you a riddle, Richard : Why 
would Auntie Safiy be quite a catch to the govern- 
ment washerwomen ? " 

" 'Cause she's chock a block with hot water, I 
suppose." 

" No — d'ye give it up ? " 

" Yes." 

" Well then, because she'd do for soap in one 
water and blue bag in the next ? " 

*' Now, Captain Bombast, is not tliis infamous ? 
This is the way that a woman of learning is treat- 
ed. As I said before, they can't answer our ar- 



18 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

guments, and so they insult us ; but this comes of 
their mixing with such quisquilice as are to be 
found in the navy. — Now did you ever Captain 
Bombast, did you ever meet with such conduct ? " 

" Why, really. Lady Sapphira, I am happy to 
say not often, for though I stayed a considerable 
time at the Longbow Islands, as well as in the 
revolted States of America until they " — 

" Tumbled you into a ditch. Captain Bombast." 

" * Tumbled me into a ditch,' Mr. Nathaniel, I 
really am surprised ! I really wish. Sir, that you 
could be more circumspect in what you advance." 

" Why captain, can you pretend to deny it ? 

" Can I pretend — why— truly — really I am 
sure," — and the captain stretched forth his long 
scraggy dark neck around which his neckcloth was 
always as slovenly tied as if it had been a halter — 
" how can you — or rather how could you ? — why 
I am surprised you should ever have entertained 
such an idea." 

" ' Entertained such an idea !* Bless me ! I always 
took it as granted for a fact, that one day for 
something you had done contrary to their notions, 
they had bundled you into a ditch or a horse- 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 19 

pond, I don't know which, and so you, to pay 
them off, came home and wrote a book against 
them." 

" Well, Ml*. Nathaniel, to think how men may 
be calumniated ! But I really am surprised that 
you should believe such a shocking report !" 

" Yes, captain, very shocking, j)articularly if it 
was cold weather ! Was it summer or \^*inter when 
it happened ? No wonder you considered them so 
rude and ill-bred after that ; but how was it. Cap- 
tain, that you never put it dov^Ti in your book ? " 
But the captain was far too cunning to criminate 
himself, and he therefore pretended to be deeply 
engaged in answering Lady Sapphira, assuring 
her that in the Longbow Islands such cases of 
ill treatment of the fair sex were very rai'e. 

" Ah, sir!" responded her Ladyship, " I appre- 
hend in those islands in which you have been so 
fehcitously favoured as to roam, that they have no 
navy in which to enclausate men until they be- 
come thoroughly stultified." 

In the interim, while these disputes had been 
thus warmly carried on between these high belli- 
gerent peirties, Croiser, whose feelings inclined 



so THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

him to a "\videly different path, had been saying 
his best things, and paying his most assiduous 
court to his nymphs of the morning, surrounded 
and inspired by all the guardian sylphs of tea and 
toast, Guava jelly, orange marmalade, curried 
prawns, preserved pine, and the many other little 
niceties that meet on a breakfast table. The 
meal being over, the ladies dispersed to array 
themselves for the excursion on the water, when 
Lady Sapphira, despite her protestations against 
the quisqiiilice to be found afloat, and the anger 
she felt for the Reverend Nathaniel, determined 
to be of the party, in which determination she 
was followed by the marvellous Captain Bombast 
and the wonderful Major Puff. 

All things being ready, they set off through 
the noble avenue of trees fronting the house, and 
tm-ning off to the right, arrived at a low railing 
which divided the sward of the park from the 
smooth beach of Barn Pool. Opening the gate 
reserved for the embarkation of the family and 
their friends, they descended to a boat which 
Croiser had ordered to be in waiting, and were 
immediately rowed off to the little bark which 



A TALE OP THE WAR. 21 

was lying with her sails unfurled in readiness to 
bear them where they pleased. 

The Port Admiral having seen the last of tliem 
on board, waved his hand with a " Fare ye well, 
my hearties," and turned back to the house, say- 
ing, to Margiee's repeated invitations to be of the 
party, " Duty first, and play afterwards," a rule 
to which he rigidly adhered, and now prepared to 
cross the water to his official residence ; since he 
merely occupied his present abode as a connexion 
of the family during its absence. 



22 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 



CHAPTER II. 

" Will had promised his Sue that this voyage well ended 
Should coil up his hopes, and he'd anchor on shore ; 
His pockets well lined — why his life should he mended 
The laws he had broken, he'd break them no more." 

WILL WATCH THE BOLD SMUGGLER. 

Leaving our friends on board to all the enjoyment 
which awaited them, it is now, Reader, the pro- 
vince of your historian to pass over the day spent 
on the water when the party returned at night- 
fall to sup with the old Flag Officer, as well as a 
few of the succeeding hours, until about three 
o'clock a7ite meridiem^ at which time Captain 
Croiser was enjoying sound slumbers under the 
venerable roof of his hospitable entertainer, and 
the dim hazy light of a moonless morning fell on 
the little schooner once more quietly at anchor 
within Barn Pool. At this hour, so sacred to 



A TALE OF THE WAR, 23 

spirits emancipated from their bondage of clay, 
a tall and well-proportioned figure issued silently 
fi'om the thick glade encuxUng the western flank 
of the castle, and pursued its way with stealthy 
and noiseless steps along the rounded and open 
waste, at the foot of which the building is si- 
tuated. 

Presently a low bai'k was heard; the slight 
rustling of the grass, heavy with night dew, ceased 
as the figui'e paused — a low hissing whisper 
arose upon the stillness of the night, the bai"k was 
hushed, and the figure moved on once more with 
quickened steps. As it passed along, the drowsy 
deer started fi-om their broken sleep to gambol 
away, and leave the vicinity of those unhallowed 
footsteps which broke in upon their sacred re- 
cesses. Presently the horizon revealed to view 
the dark square outline of a church tower, crown- 
ing the heights of Maker. Pausing as it ap- 
proached the latter, the figui'e was seen to stretch 
out an arm, first towards the sacred edifice and then 
towards the sea, as if in the very act of summoning 
" spirits fi-om the vasty deep ; " then, after a brief 
pause, it struck off in that direction where the 



. 24 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

waves of the latter were heard reverberating on 
the kon-bound coast which opposed their pro- 
gress. 

Having arrived by a somewhat circuitous route 
at the low paling that protected the deer from the 
dangers of the precipice, a hand was thrust into 
its breast, and then, as if satisfied with the result, 
it slowly mounted the paling and disaj)peared gra- 
dually in the gulf below. 

After a cautious descent of some thirty feet 
down the nigged and sinuous footpath leading to 
the sea, the figure was once more seen to emerge 
from the shadow of the cliff, and pursue its way 
among the rocks at the bottom, where the waves 
dashed gently on the shore. After following this 
course for half a mile, and leaving the bounds of 
the estate considerably behind, it paused before a 
high bluff that jutted across the path, while on 
its base the sea had left its marks at high tide. 

At a height of some fifty feet from the ground 
appeared a slight prominence, from whence grew 
a quantity of brushwood, surrounding a low 
ilex, whose thick cover of evergreen seemed to 
have braved the tempest for many a winter. As 



A TALE OF THE WAE. ^ 

the figure approached this spot, it stumbled over a 
fi-agment of the broken rocks, when the rolUng 
masses, severed in their descent, were heard 
tumbhng into the water at a httle distance below. 

" \Mio goes there ?" suddenly demanded a 
hoarse voice, as the dim figure of some gigantic 
being started up fi-om the ground. A dead pause 
ensued ; a sudden click, as of a steel spring, was 
heard on the side of the intruder, re-echoed on the 
pfirt of the huge sentinel, whose large propoilions 
were yet more increased by the haze of the morn- 
ing. 

" WTio goes there, I say ? You thief o' the 
night, find a tongue — or here's into ye ! " 

" A fiiend." 

*'Then make sail and tip us the word." 

At this invitation the first figure advanced, but 
holding out something in his hand, which its faint 
ghtter proved to be a pistol. "SATien within ten 
yards he halted, and addressing the sentinel who 
was similarly prepared for his reception, said, " It 
is'nt in ^ sunshine ' is it : " 

"Never, Bo!" 

" Then is it ' moonshine .f* ' " 

VOL. II. c 



§^6 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

" That we hate worse nor an exciseman." 

" But a dull look-out and a misty morning ? "— 

" Make our time of day." 

Having satisfied themselves by this mysterious 
dialogue that they knew one another's business, the 
weapons of death were quickly returned to their 
proper places of concealment about the person, 
and extending hands to one another, the lesser 
individual inquired, " What cheer, my hearty ? " 

" Why, my cove, pretty bobbish, thank ye ! but 
how is it that you're not here afore? Here 'tis 
close upon the stroke o' seven bells in the middle 
watch, and I've a been hanging on here, knocking 
about ever since five bells. I can tell you Bo, 
this here cold haze is very bad for a poor fellow's 
vittalling office. But better late than never, so 
let's bring-to here, and have a drop of something 
short." 

As he said this, the sailor accommodated his 
person on a fi'agment of rock, motioning for his 
companion to take a seat beside him ; then thrust- 
ing his hand into his rough coat, he pulled forth 
a pewter bottle of a flat oval shape, which might 
hold near three pints. Long usage seemed to 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 27 

have imparted to it the bright glow which the 
sailor regarded with such reverence as he rubbed 
it on his sleeve. 

" That seems to be an old companion. " 
" An ould companion ! You may say that, Bo ! 
This is my Castle-Rag Sal! Maybe you think 
that's a rum name for a canteen to go by; but 
the matter on't is this. When I was a younker, I 
was spooney, or in love, as the land-lubbers call 
it, after Sally Moffat, what hved on the Barbican 
down yonder there, as we see in the bight o' the 
harbour ; and Missis Sal taking into her head one 
day when I was on a bit of a crusse to kick the 
bucket, why ye see, she left me quite incontrou- 
bable for her loss as ye may say ; and going to 
Nan Pigget, who lived by forking* the King's 
stores — God bless her! — Why I bought this 
canteen — full of blue ruin, and called it after Sal 
to invahdate her memory as the tombstone said. 
For — shiver my timbers! — I was'nt going to be 
stingy, and so I had a bit of a holy stone stuck 
up in the churchyard: but the lubbers I see 

♦ " Forking," that is, stealing them, or rather perhaps buy- 
ing them, knowing the same to be stolen. 

c 2 



28 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

f other day, have been a shifting some o' the 
bulk heads of the black barracks*, and Sal's stow- 
age has been broken up. However ye see I've a 
taken good care of this, seeing I fill it reg'lar fiv€ 
times a day — every eight bells — for her sake; till 
now, bother me if I don't think I like it better than 
Sal herself. Well here's to her health — the dear 
creatures ! they're the salt o' life as ye may say, at 
any time ; " and the seaman tossed off the ardent 
spirits contained in the metal cup, which scremng 
over the mouth of the canteen, answered the 
double office of a cup and a cover. 

" That's the true stuff, my Boy ! " said the last 
comer, as he moved his lips after the manner of a 
connoisseiu — he having been helped the first. 
The other made no rej^ly, but refilling, projffered 
the spirit again. 

" No more, my lad, no more, thank ye, — though 
the air is fi'esh for July," — and he pulled up his 
cravat, to hide his features, while he attentively 
scanned those of the sailor. — " A ^dram of that 
might put life into a half-starved Greenland 
whaler." 

* " Black barracks'" — sailor's name for a church. 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 29 

" Ay, aye, trust Tim for knowing the right 
narrow tape of MjTiheer Schnapsh." 

" Tim's your name, is it ? " 

"Aye, Bo!" 

" But Tim what ? What other name d'ye bear on 
the ship's books ? " 

*' Ship's books !" inteiTupted the seaman, in a 
somewhat savage tone, aiTesting the passage of 
the spirit towards his lips. " What have I to do 
with your man-o'-wai''s ship's books ? — Not I — it's 
a fib — a He I was going to say," he added, in a 
half laughing undertone of voice, while his eye 
twinkled with intoxication. 

" You mistake, old Boy, I didn't mean to call 
you a man-of-war's man, if it's that ye dislike so 
much ?" 

"Well, I do then!" 

" Very well, my Hearty ; but I knew you be- 
longed to that tight little craft there ; the raking 
three-masted schooner." 

" How did you know that ?" 

" Oh ! how did I know that ? I knew it well 
enough, so I only asked you what your other name 



80 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

" Why, my service-name, as you call it, is Tim 
Tarpauline, only they call me ' Nine-fathom Tim ' 
for shortness." 

" Well, that's a back-handed way of keeping a 
reckoning too ! And what have you to do with 
nine fathoms ?" 

" Why ye see, ever since I bought Castle -Rag 
Sal, here, I've never been sober, 'sept by some 
infamal accident — that's to say sober as a church. 
Once, I mind it well, and that was one of the 
worst days that ever I saw in my life ; seeing that 
I was upset in a boat 'long with five others, in 
nine fathom water, off Cape Maccaroni, up the 
Straits. Well, ye see, the other five were all 
drowned, but as there was'nt enough water to 
drown me, it only came up to my neck, and there 
was I left shivering and shaking like, a foretaupsle 
in the wind. I would have walked ashore, but I 
knew the ground was all ups and downs, rocks 
and shallows, and so, if I went to move, I might 
have got into nine and a half, or may-be ten fa- 
thom ; and then I should have been flumgus- 
ticated ; for as to my swimming, at that time — and 
more shame to me — 'twas like a pig of ballast — 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 81 

right to the bottom, though now, to be sure, it's 
more like a cork, for I've had one or two hard 
tries at it." 

" Well, and how did ye get out of it r " 

" Why, they come and pick me up at last, after 
rd been there in the cold water for foiu: hours, 
and so much of it soaked through me, that, chink 
what spirit I will, I can't get it swabbed up again." 

" No, so I should think !" 

" Ay, aye, but it's no laughing matter, for ever 
since that time I've never been able to keep any 
warmth in my feet — all flies to my head ! To be 
sure, I take lots of the true stuff, both Xantz and 
Schnapps, and I've had the very best advice for it, 
but Lor' ! it's no manner o' use that I sees : so here's 
to your joUy good health I " and down went dram 
the third. This finished, ' Sal ' was returned to 
her resting^ place, and her owner got up, and 
taking a few paces, whUe he flapped his long 
arms, hke an albatross does its wings, he resumed 
his seat once more. 

'* Well you seem to have an easy time of it 
aboard that craft ; with notliing to do but lay at 
your kiflick in harbour." The sailor tmned round, 



32 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

and fixing his lowering and rather ill-natured glance 
on the questioner, seemed to be scrutinizing the 
motive which induced such an inquiry. Not 
tracing any thing to raise his suspicions, his grim 
features relaxed into a smile, as he turned his head 
away, and dangling his feet, replied, 

" Yes, yes, my Boy, weVe a pretty easy time, 
thanks be to our skipper, and as I get, so I givCj 
seeing I'm his first mate." 

"The devil you are!" 

" You may say that, and not be so much sur- 
prised after all." 

" And what do ye do all day ? " 

" Oh ! little odds and ends ; ye see I generally 
turns out some where about seven bells in the 
middle watch, (half past three,) and I comes up on 
deck, and I looks round about me and sees it's a 
bit disky, and so I takes a drop of something 
short, and turns in till eight bells. Well, then ye 
see, having dozed half an hour, I turns out on deck 
again, and giving a squint about me, I sees still 
'tis a little bit disky, so I take a drop again, and 
turns in till two bells. Well, two bells struck, I 
turn out once more, and taking another squint 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 33 

about me, I see the diskiness is pretty nigh gone 
off, and the sun's beginning to rise thereaway in 
the east, or it may be east and a leetel bit sou' ; so 
seeing as how that's the case, I takes a drop just 
to wish him a good morning as it may be, and 
then I'm up for all the day." 

" Ah my Boy ? This is when it's a disky morn- 
ing. Now suppose it is'nt a disky morning, wliat 
d'ye do then ? 

" Umph! — why — then — let me see! — why then 
— come dang it, that's a bit of a pauler," rubbing his 
head, " why then old chap I do — -just the same." 

" Well, come, my Hearty, that's honest ! and if 
you have it all your own way, why what can ye 
wish for more ?" 

" Hah ! Come belay there — that's a bold word. 
To be sure I've a tight berth of it, but still when 
it comes to wishing, I think I could wish for 
a better." 

" Well, come now, suppose you were to have 
a wish, what would ye ask for ? " 

" Ask for ? Why — Let me see, I hardly think 
either, when it comes to the push. — What do I 
want particular ? Should I have Sal back again 

c 3 



$4 THE PORT ABMIRAL, 

— but no, though that's no go, cause she^s dead 
poor creetur ! — One of the deef uns that won't 
answer to her muster, though the clerk of the 
cheque bawls as loud as a boatswain in a white 
squall. — No, that won't gee — so what shall I 

have ? I've just got a fresh supply of Snapsch 

in, I an't near run out o' pigtail yet — I sha'nt 
be hard up for soap for six months to come, and 
I've lots of ingans! (onions.) — What shall I 

have.?" 

" Come, Master Nine-Fathom-Tim, you're 



not so hardly off as you think." 

" 'Vast heaving ! Now I think of it, I'd wish 
myself ould Sir Dicky Saltbeny, the Port Ad- 
miral." 

" The devil you would ! " exclaimed the other, 
somewhat quickly. " What would you wish your- 
self the Port Admiral for ? " 

" ' What for ? ' Why don't ye see he can get 
swipy* 'pon duty without so much as being 
logged down in the report; much less brought to the 
gangway! Now, that's what / calls having a snug 
berth of it!" 

* ' Swipy ' — Anglice-~~Xv^9Y — three cloths in the wind. 



A TALE OF THE WAK. 35 

« And is that aU?" 

" 'Air — no ! That chap lives a roarin' life of it, 
and smuggles ! Lof ! they tell me he smuggles 
like a good 'un." 

" Pooh ! " retiurned the other with a pettish tone 
of voice, " you mustn't beUeve all the trash you 
heai*. The Port Admiral smuggle r Do you think 
the Port Admiral would dare to smuggle ? I have 
heai-d he's a ver\^ strict officer, and, faith, I beheve 
it!" 

" Well, and who said he wasn't a smart officer ? 
The old boy may be smart enough, and hke to do 
a httle business by starhght yet ! Now I dare say 
the old chap would have no objection to some 
dozen ankers of this stuff here," taking another 
dram — " All I can say is, if-so-be he would'nt, 
why, he's no judge of licker ! " 

** 'Liquor!' Why those great Dons never drink 
any thing else but wine ? " 

"'Wine!' Whish, don't they? tlien I pities 
'em ! none o' your Admirals for me ! — But how- 
somever, Pve heard Sir Dicky's a gallows old boy ; 
and if-so-be that be the case, why I wish he was 
here for his sake ! " 



36 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

A suppressed smile was visible on the face of 
the other, at this remark, as he turned towai'ds 
the sea, where some object engaged his attention. 
" Here they come at last ! " he exclaimed. 
" Ay, aye, here we have them at last, sure 
enough. Mister Demck's rather behind time: 
it's close upon eight bells ! '* 

An ordinary spectator might have strained his 
eyes for some time, without discerning the object 
to which the attention of the sailors had been 
drawn, and which long experience alone enabled 
them to perceive. Soon, however, the measured 
splash of oars became faintly audible ; and in a few 
minutes the indistinct form of a large lugger ap- 
peared in sight. Her sails having been taken 
down, she was now rowed ashore with muffled 
sweeps *. 

At a Httle distance from the place where our 
friend Nine-fathom Tim had been seated, the im- 
mense masses of rock which time had gradually 
tumbled down from the cliff, had formed them- 
selves into a little basin with a narrow outlet 
towards the sea, the inside being protected from 

* ' Sweeps,' large and heavy oars. 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 37 

the waves, which in windy weather spent their 
fiiry in lashing the rude barrier of stone around. 
Into this small but secure haven the lugger was 
now steered; and to the uninitiated eye of the 
landsman, every part of her hull above water was 
seen to be entirely white. 

" Now, my lads — in oars, in oars, and out "^-ith 
your killick ! " said a rough voice proceeding from 
aft. 

Obedient to these orders, tlie sweeps were laid in- 
board, and a very large and heavy stone, secured 
to her bow by a rope, having been dropped over- 
board, the vessel brought up at her moorings, and 
the crew leaped on the adjacent rocks, still 
some two feet under water. This, however, was 
no inconvenience to them, since their feet and legs 
were protected by rough leather boots, proof to 
the water and reaching nearly up to their loins. 

The captain, or as he styled himself " Honest 
Joe Denick," was the last who left his bark, say- 
ing " Here ! T\Tiich o' ye's more like a horse than 
a thief? 'Cause he'd better 'way aloft there and 
give the signal." 



38 

" Ay, aye," answered one of the subordinate 
seamen, making his way towards the bluff already 
mentioned. 

Having arrived close to its base, the sailor picked 
up a small pebble, and succeeded in flinging it 
with as little force as possible into the ilex tree 
growing above. A shrill clear whistle as of some 
bird was heard in reply ; and in a few minutes a 
rope was let down. Passing the end under his 
arms, the seaman knotted it securely round his 
body, and was then seen to ascend gradually into 
the shade of the ilex tree, within the hollow of 
the boughs of which he disappeared. Landing 
on this point of the cliff, he found his companion 
who had drawn him up by the aid of a rude wind- 
lass, and they now crept on their hands and knees 
through a low hole that seemingly led into the bow- 
els of the rock. After proceeding for two or three 
yards, they entered a square chamber, where na- 
ture had received some slight assistance and em- 
bellishments from art it is true, but the joint efforts 
of both had failed to produce any thing very com- 
fortable. 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 39 

The natural chill of such a subterranean abode 
was but poorly diminished by the pan of glo\^4ng 
charcoal, whose iumes proved suffocating and 
sickly after the fresh air outside. This first soon 
opened into a second, which by the candle held 
in the iron head of a boat-hook stuck in the wall, 
was seen to be a dormitor>', where six rude bed- 
places had been cut in the rocky sides, and filled 
with the aromatic leaves of the Stitsa; the tere- 
binthous odour of which, is poison to all the insect 
and reptile tribes. 

Between these two chambers ran a harrow pas- 
sage terminating in a flight of steps; the last 
passed over the first chamber in a diagonal direc- 
tion, and found then* way to the hght at some 
four feet immediately beneath the brink of the 
precipice, to gain a safe footing on the top of 
which required a firm heart and steady hand. This 
exit would have appeared from above a mere fox's 
hole to the eye of a stranger ; and even had he 
known the whole truth, six men could have main- 
tained their position within, against as many hun- 
dred from without. 

Hastily pursuing their way up this rude stair- 



40 

case, the tenant of these cells and the sailor 
gained the summit. Very few minutes had elapsed 
before the silence of the morning was broken by 
the neighing of a horse — thrice it was heard to 
rise and die away among the heath-covered hills 
around, succeeded immediately by the crowing of 
a cock. After an interval of some seconds, the 
neigh seemed to be caught up again in the dis- 
tance, and yet the interval elapsed precluded the 
idea of its being an echo ; scarcely had this ceased 
when the ear recognized a similar sound still far- 
ther off— again and again, until it fau'ly melted 
into the far space beyond. 

" Come, Bill, the lads are all ready, jump down 
below and hand us up the tackle and spar," said 
the sailor to the other, betraying the secret, that 
this imitation of the lower orders of the creation 
was only a device by one portion of human beings 
to deceive another. Being thus reminded of what 
he had to do, he who supplied ' the cock's shrill 
clarion' descended once more to his cavern, while 
the other waited near its mouth. 

Presently a band of some fifty men came run- 
ning down to the point, wai'ned by the signal 



A TALE OF THE WAPw 41 

that their presence was required. They were 
mostly habited in the coarse smock-frocks of the 
peasantry, while some wore a more nautical form 
of dress; but in all, the silent and methodical 
mode in which they proceeded to work, proved 
that such occupations were not new to them. In 
a few minutes a stout rope was handed up to them 
from the cavity beneath, and then a long pole was 
gradually launched over the steep face of the 
precipice. As one end of it was made fast to the 
rope, they proceeded to drag it up a few feet in- 
land of the brink, where grew the tiiink of a black 
pine, whose branches had been severed by the 
lightning. Around the very base of this tree was 
passed a double gi-ummet, or lasliing, constiTicted 
for the purpose, which received the heel of the 
spar and acted as a pivot, while the other end 
projecting over the cHff was attached to the head 
of the tree by strong ropes some ten feet in 
length. This end was also fitted with pulleys 
and a tackle that descended to the shore below. 
Long as this temporary crane takes to describe to 
a landsman, it required in the hands of seamen 
but a few minutes for its erection. 



42 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

" Now, my men," said the sailor, " some dozen 
of you stand by to run away with the fall — the 
rest stand off in two and two to pass along the 
creature." Obedient to the word of command, the 
men separated on the instant that the crane had 
been erected; twelve of them taking the end of 
the tackle in their hands, and a slight jerk being 
given to the ropes from below as a signal that 
they were to hoist, they all ran quickly inland 
until the goods were pulled up to the farther 
point of the spar, now swung round by a gilguy, 
or slack rope, attached to it. The precious freight 
was then disengaged to be handed from man to 
man into the interior of the country with won- 
derful rapidity, and the tackle lowered below for 
more ; this precious freight, consisting of French 
brandy with alternate ankers of Dutch Schnapps ; 
so pure that — by his own confession — more ex- 
quisite was never sipped even by the fastidious 
Nine-fathom Tim. 

To descend, however, once more to the scene 
below. Skipper Derrick, having first conversed 
with the lesser smuggler of our acquaintance, and 
set his boat's crew to work in the task of unlading 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 43 

their lugger, he approached the Patagonian, say- 
ing, "Well, Nine-fathom Tim, what have you 
brought this turn ? " 

" As prime a cargo as ever you wish to see; 
some of the finest Brushall toggery as ever a 
Duchess had on her back. " 

" Well done old boy ! I hope you've brought us 
a sample of it. " 

" Ay, aye 1 here's sample enough, " continued 
Tim in his gruff phlegmatie voice, and rising 
from his seat, he began slowly to strip off his pea 
jacket, then his waistcoat, and lastly his Guernsey 
frock, saying, "Here my lad, lend a hand to 
unfi-ap a fellow." 

" Ay, aye ! " responded Derrick, taking in his 
hand the end of what appeai-ed to be a broad 
band of linen, wrapping the robust form of the 
seaman. 

" Are you fast ? " demanded Tim. 

" All fast, away you go, Tim ! " No sooner did 
he receive this intimation than his huge carcass 
was seen to spin round Hke a teetotum, unfolding 
at every turn a yard of the broad swathing, which 
in reahty contained the finest lace, folded closely 



44 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

for the purpose. When Tim had thus disburdened 
himself of many a fold, he appeared in a great 
degree to have lost that plump obesity of figure, 
that before distinguished him. 

" Why now Master Nine-fathom, they'll be 
asking you where you've managed to leave behind 
you all your calipee ? " 

" Gallipee, old boy. My fat, if you mean that, 
is a sort o' shifting ballast that goes here or there. 
So lend us a fist to make a fresh stowage. " 

" Holloa ! why what have we got here ? " in- 
quired his brother tar, looking at the canvass belt 
which the other took up from beside him, and 
now proceeded to wind round his waist, to make 
up, as he said, the loss of the lace. 

"Why that's my shifting ballast, I tell ye; 
lend me a hand to get it on." 

Tliis finished, his clothes were put on once 
more, and he resumed his usual appearance. 
While these matters were going on between our 
friends the dram-drinkers, the lesser one of whom 
appeared to have little to do save look on, the 
skipper had been busily employed with his crew ; 
and in the course of a quarter of an hour from the 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 45 

time of the lugger's arrival, every drop of spirit 
had been hoisted up the cliff and dispersed from 
thence through the country. 

" No sooner had the last anker been taken out 
of the boat, than six of her men taking as many 
brooms from her stem sheets, set to work scrub- 
bing her hull, which in a few seconds was divested 
of tlie hme that had been used to whiten it, and 
now appeared with its original coating of black, 
the other being employed from its enabhng them 
to escape the eye at sea. 

" Now my lads, stand by to jump in and shove 
off," said the captain to liis men, and then going 
up to the looker-on, he walked aside with him. 
Scarcely had they opened their Hps, when the 
sound of nmning footsteps in the direction of 
Cawsand awakened the captain's attention. — 
" Hark ! " he exclaimed. 

" I hear nothing, Derrick," repHed the other, 
putting his hand up to the organ, whose extreme 
sensitiveness had been somewhat dulled by the 
roar of many actions. " Yes — is it — Aye, as I 
may keep my feet from the bilboes, here are the 
land-sharks 1 " continued Derrick, apostrophising 



46 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

himself and interpreting the sounds with a quick- 
ness that fi-equent hazard had cultivated. Forget- 
ting in his anxiety for his boat and crew, the 
safety of the person with whom he was talking, 
he leaped towards the sea, exclaiming in an ele- 
vated whisper, " Boys, to your boat ! the blun- 
derbuss sharks are down upon us ! here come the 
sogering ." 

Quick as chickens fly from the appearance of a 
hawk, did the smugglers hasten pell-mell into their 
lugger, with the exception of Nine-fathom Tim 
and the other sailor, neither of whom fully com- 
prehended the danger. 

" On, on, my men ! Now's your time for a 
prize ! " was heard the voice of the custom-house 
officer, urging his people to secure the smugglers 
before they could effect a retreat in their bark, the 
sound of whose oars they now heard. 

" What's the rout, you Nine-fathom there ? 
What's the rout?" bawled his late boon-companion, 
bounding over the rocks that separated him 
from his fellow in distress. 

" Matter ! why, sink their hulls, here are sojers 
come down from the Custom-house." 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 47 

" Save us and bless us ! then we're caught as 
sure as my name's Dick ." 

" Caught ! Ay that ye will be, if ye Ue-to there 
like a dogger in a calm ! Bear-a-hand for your 
life ! Here they come !" as he said this, the heads 
of their assailants became visible, in clambering 
over a high ridge of rocks close at hand, while 
just behind them, the day bursting in the east, 
threw its vivid glare so as to make the intervening 
objects doubly distinct. 

Bestowing many imprecations on the souls 
and bodies of these interlopers, the lesser sailor 
skipped along for his life towards him of the Nine- 
fathoms, at the same time wondering how their 
dehverance was to be acliieved, and giving himself 
up for lost. 

" Here, my boy ! Here ! make sail. Give us your 
flipper," said Tim, seizing his comrade's hand, 
and then clasping him with both arms roimd the 
waist, he grasped the end of the tackle that still 
hung down from above, gave it a pull to attract 
the attention of his friends aloft, and sang out, 
" Pull up !" 

" There they are," cried the Custom-house of- 



48 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

ficer, attracted towards them by this sound. 
" Down with them, my lads 1 Secure the rascals, 
every head's a prize — Follow me ! Stop, you vil- 
lains, stop, in the name of the ting !" added the 
incensed and disappointed officer, as he beheld 
our two friends quickly ascend into the air, closely 
conjoined as though they were one flesh. He was 
within three yards, when they thus eluded him ; and 
there he stood with mouth agape, scarcely able to 
comprehend what he now witnessed. Not so, one 
of his men, for his eye having caught the end 
of the rude crane above, he levelled his piece 
and fired. 

" Oht, seize it ! " cried the lesser sailor, singing 
out as the ball struck him. 

" What Bo ! Have the villains pinked you ?" 
inquired Tim, kindly, endeavouring to hold the 
writhing form of the other in his arms. 

" Oh J bless us and save us! — the rascals ! slap 
in the stem-post, by the • Oh !" 

" Cheer up, ould chap ! Well it's no worse. I 
dare say you'll get over it ; but hold on ! The 
blackguards are going to have another crack at 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 49 

" Cease firing ! We don't come here to murder 
men, either," said the officer below, on recovering 
his senses, and beholding a second man in the act 
of taking a dehberate aim at the ' ranishing quan- 
tities ' above. " Here, stand from under, I 
shouldn't be surprised if one of them did'nt come 
down yet, for some bird was wing'd." This au- 
gury, however, proved untrue, and Tim having 
held tight, they were both swung in, and safely 
landed. 

" Now, my lads," said the latter, " they chaps 
can't be up here for half an hoiu", do how they 
will, so down with that derrick* and tackle, stow it 
away snug for the time, and then make ofi" every 
mother's son of ye!— How are ye, shipmate? 
Are ye ready to heave a-head } We must stand by 
for a iiin!' 

" ' Run ' ! the rascals have shivered my stem- 
post ! ' Run ! I couldn't make a knot an hour of it 
— the villains ! I'm regularly— No, no, this is a 
dry-dock business, I fear ! here Bo', lend us your 
shoulder." 

" As sure as I love Sal," returned the other, 

* ' Derrick,' a technical term for a sort of crane. 
VOL. IL D 



50 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

"this is a bad business! Here, old Cove, since they 
sharks have damaged your back, you must go 
snacks with mine. You take the shoulders, and 
I'll keep the rest." And according to this gene- 
rous division, Tim bent his nine-fathom body to 
the earth on his knee, when after some little diffi- 
culty and many interjections, in which frequent 
mention of the stern-post was interpolated, the 
twain set off; appearing as if the gigantic statue 
of Carlo Borromeo, in the plain near Lago Mag- 
giore had got under w^eigh, rather than like any 
thing of human flesh and blood ; while their late 
assistants in the illicit transactions of the night, 
crowded together in a body, and made the best of 
their way onwards. 

They had proceeded about a mile, and were just 
passing a road that lay in their route, when they 
met a fat little personage on a mule, jogging along 
in an agreeable non compos mentis state, and 
singing as well as his hiccups would allow him, 
the then modern song of " We are na fu', we're 
no that fu'." 

" Hurrah !" cried some of the men, pulling the 
tinfortunate man off his mule. "Here's Joe Tibbet, 
the exciseman, the rascal ! ten to one but he set 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 51 

those blackguards on the scent, to come and inter- 
rupt a man in an honest job. WTiat d'ye say ? I 
Tote we pay him for it." 

" Pay him ! pay the gauging rascal out for it," 
shouted one and all. 

" I assure you, my dear fellows, — ^hiccup — upon 
the honour, my dear gentlemen, of an exciseman, 
I exsm-e you — hiccup — twas'nt I. " I am na 
fu', I'm no' that fu'." It was in vain, however, 
that the man of measures protested. Nine fathom 
Tim was called on to give his opinion, but lo 1 
neither Tim Tarpaulin nor his friend were 
present ! they had been dropped behind, and 
the ciy ai-ose that they had fallen into the hands 
of the Philistines. This only contributed to hasten 
the fate of the unfortunate ganger, since, after a 
consultation of a few minutes, they bound him 
hand and foot, and conveyed him up the steep 
liill on the opposite side of the road to that by 
which they had arrived. 

Fright had now cured his hiccups, and in some 
measure restored his senses, but though he bawled 
lustily, he failed to make out a case to their satis- 
faction, and was therefore doomed to suffer. On 
arriving at the crown of the hill, one of the party, 

D 2 



UNIVERSITY OF 
ILLINOIS LIBRARY 



52 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

a seaman, who in conjunction with many of the 
rest had been drinking too freely, cut a stout 
saphng, some four feet in length. This done, he 
approached the prisoner, who had been allowed 
to sit on the ground, and who unconscious of what 
awaited him, had, as the easiest position,di'awn up 
his knees to his mouth, and put his fettered arms 
over them, while on the former he leaned his head 
and bewailed his cruel captivity. Springing on 
his prey in this the most desirable of all positions 
to his persecutors, the sailor thrust the stake under 
the joints of the ganger's knees, thus pinioning his 
arms beneath the sapling, so that the sufferer could 
not extricate them. A lashing having secured the 
stick from slipping, the victim was pronounced to 
be ready. 

" Here, my boys, let's take him to a crumby 
part," said his inebriated tormentors, lifting the 
screaming exciseman, and carrying him to the 
highest point of the hill, where nearly the whole 
descent to the road forming the centre of the ra- 
vine below, was covered with furze. 

" Now, old Chap, we wish you a pleasant walk 
back," and putting him on his side, they gave the 
body a roll to impel its career, when away it went 



A TALE OF THE WAK. 53 

down the steep declivity, bound after bound, as the 
ashen point came in contact \\dth the ground, and 
then, by its phabihty, flew oflf with increased velo- 
city; while at every turn the shrieks of their 
victim grew less distinct as they were borne away 
upon the morning breeze, that came sweeping up 
the hill all freshly from the sea, and scented with 
the blossoms of the furze. 

" There he goes, reckyshaying like a long 
twenty -four shot !" 

'' Ay, he squeals liko a dying pig at Christ- 
mas !" 

" Now half-a-pint Jack, whether he fetches the 
bottom or brings up all standing half-way ?" 

*' I say, biing up." 

^' I say, no," — The last voice was right, for with 
a final bound the body cleared the brink of the 
hill, and was lost to sight among the thick 
branches of thorn that overhung the road. The 
smugglers just stayed to witness this consummation, 
and then with an inhuman shout, they speeded 
off, nor heard the indistinct groans that struggUng 
on the air, seemed to announce the fate of the un- 
fortunate exciseman. 

Let us now return to our friend Timothy Tar- 



54 THE POUT ADMIRAL, 

paulin, of nine-fathom notoriety, whom we left, 
like a second ^neas, bearing an aged friend from 
the battle. At first Tim strided on very rapidly, 
but the other sailor cried out, " Save us, ship- 
mate! do try and ride your seas less heavily, 
for my stern-post is terribly shaken, and — Oh 
dear, those rascals ! — talking of stem-posts, puts 
one in mind of an old story — ' Vast heaving there ! 
gently Bd ! ge7itly ! every jolter you make is like 
a shi]} bilging on a coral reef — well, as I was 
going — Port, Bo\ port! or we shall he hard and 
fast on fur ze -hush ; so — thafs he— to tell ye 
when I was a wee younker, a piccaninnie, some 
three feet nothing in height, I sailed with old 
Admiral Valourous — I dare say you have heard 
of old Bill Timorous as they used to call him, 
who never did right by accident ? " 

" Ay, aye. Bo', IVe hard o' the ould Griffin." 
" Well, as soon as ever the look-out hailed ' a 
sail in sight,' old Bill used to get his glass out 
and take a peep at the stranger; if it looked like 
an enemy he turned to the captain, ^ Shorten sail. 
Sir! Shorten sail! We must guard the safety o' 
the ship, the sternpost's loose — Shorten sail, Sir ! ' 
Billy never was in action in his life, except once, 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 55 

when th^y ran him up alongside a ship in the 
night-time without his knowing any thing about 
it ; for which he swore he'd bring them all to a 
court martial ; but as she turned out to be a prize, 
and struck after the first broadside, he thought 
't was better to say no more about it. But holloa! 
the other fellows are off; and they've left us where 
the little boat was," exclaimed Tim, discoveiing 
that his comrades had outstripped him. 

" Never mind, old Boy, we can get aboard your 
bark through these grounds, as she's lying off 
Barn-Pool. You can hail for a boat ; so now up 
with your helm, hai'd a port 1 " 

"Well! come, we can bear up for that, whe- 
ther or no!" rephed Tiin, following liis instnic- 
tions. 

Having anived at the park palings and sur- 
mounted them, the less statured sailor acted as 
the guide of Tim, until they reached a labpinth 
of paths, which terminated in an arbour ; here 
the guide confessed he had lost liis way, and de- 
siring Tim to remain stationary, lest they should 
become more involved, while he hobbled off to 
look for the right path, our wounded friend ma- 
naged to drag his limbs after him in an oj^posite 



56 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

direction ; for lie now found out that he was not so 
seriously hurt as he had at first apprehended. 

Instead, however, of returning to his comrade 
in waiting, he continued on his course with all 
the haste he could make, until he arrived at the 
castle; when taking a key from his pocket, he 
admitted himself as silently as possible into the 
building, and securing the door behind him, stole 
up to his apartment. 

Having reached the latter and locked himself 
in, he hobbled cautiously up to the bed-side. A 
clinking sound pronounced him to be. an-anging 
the tinder-box — he struck — ignited a match — a 
wax candle stood at hand— he lighted the wick, 
then taking off his hat and handkerchief, that 
muffling round his neck concealed his lower fea- 
tures, the quickening beams would have displayed 
to the astonished spectator, — had one been present 
< — no less a person than — Sir Richard Salisbury, 
the Port Admiral. 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 57 



CHAPTER III. 

" No more— no more, I will away, 

Or else this charmed heart will prove 

How fatal is each fond delay 

Near that fair form I madly love. 

Yes love ! and O 'twere heavenly bliss, 
But for its sister twin — Despair." 

AXON'. 

As the heavy bell of the castle tolled eight, Croiser 
descended from his dressing-room, and passing 
through the saloon laid out for breakfast, stepped 
forth on the eastern terrace to enjoy the fragiance 
of its parterre ; fanned, as it was, by the fresh 
breezes of the ocean. 

Turn where he might, not a cloud was seen to 
dim the pure azure of the firmament ; the glorious 
orb of Hght held on his course in untarnished 
splendour, leaving beneath him on the vast circle 
of the horizon, that pleasing haze where the neu- 

d3 



58 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

tral tints of night and tlie warmer hues of day- 
are so dehcately blended. 

" We shall have a hot noon," he muttered as he 
observed this, and then stood mutely gazing, to 
drink in the glorious prospect that burst upon his 
eye. In addition to much of the scene that he 
had before contemplated from the ruined tower, 
he now beheld on his right hand the noble avenue 
of elm and oak trees, from among the branches of 
which there gleamed forth on either side the tur- 
retted lodges that formed the entrance to the 
domain. The front of the castle faced this vista, 
and as Croiser looked down through it from his 
elevated site, he beheld the w^aters of the harbour 
bounding the park, their opposite side surmounted 
by the town of Dock, above the spires of which, 
the reader will remember, rose the tors of Dart- 
moor — forming a blue setting to this lovely pic- 
ture of nature, that made its young admirer 
sigh, and recall with much emotion those sunnier 
climes in which part of his days had been passed. 

" Oh that azure belt of distant mountains ! Am 
I in England — or am I not still gazing from the 

ramparts of ?" — he checked his half-uttered 

soliloquy; then added in a more subdued tone of 



A TALE OF THE WAR* 59 

voice, " "What a chequered destiny my few years 
can shew ! " Slowly he turned his head like one 
who loves to revel in these the luxmies of our 
conmion parent, when his eye suddenly caught 
an object that left all inanimate competitors for 
his attention far behind. 

It was the gi'aceful figure of Margarita. The 
morning breeze had called a little more than her 
usual colour to her cheek, while the dew it yet 
contained, shghtly dishevelled her hair and added 
a dash of freedom to her loveliness. 

" Yesterday I scarcely imagined that she could 
have looked more enchanting under any circum- 
stances, but — " thought Croiser, while the pal- 
pitation of his heart filled up the sentence more 
tiTily than any words. 

" Allow me to wish you a good morning," said 
he, hastening to her side ; — but she heard him not 
— her beautifidly proportioned aim, leant on an 
Italian vase — in her other hand she held a freshly 
pulled bouquet — thoughtfulness and pleasure min- 
gled in Ker countenance, where the elevated eye- 
brow betrayed the airy dreams of happiness in 
which the delighted spirit was indulging. " Surely 
it was from some form of native grace like this, 



60 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

that Hogarth took his Line of Beauty ! " thought 
Croiser, admiring her attitude with the devotion 
which mortals are fabled to have felt on unexpect- 
edly encountering some exquisite divinity. " Dream 
on, bright spirit! Drink of the only nectar life has 
yet discovered ! Too soon will such ecstasies fade 
far, far beyond your recal ! / will not be the sa- 
crilegious wretch to annul one instant of them. 
Alas how soon they fly ! " and the gloom settling 
on his countenance bespoke his fears that they had 
already passed from him for ever ! The last feehng 
was not allowed however to predominate long. 

Watching the direction of her eyes, they were 
seen to be fixed on the delicate little spars of his 
own schooner, barely visible as they peered above 
the foliage of the forest. Did he by any happy 
chance at present mingle in her reveries ? Deli- 
cious thought ! — that seemed to elevate him above 
himself by merely coming in contact with one so 
unsullied; then, with that hopelessness of what 
we most desire, he deemed it too gratifying an 
idea to be correct. At this instant she turned — 
uttered a faint exclamation of surprise at seeing 
him, and let the flowers drop from her hand. 

" Allow me to pick them up for you," said 



A TALE OF THE WaR. 61 

lie, busying himself in the pleasing tast, while 
Margarita murmured some sounds intended to 
be an apology. As he gave them back to her, 
she turned her head aside with a look half fright- 
ened and half angry, scarcely returning an answer 
to the httle compUments which he uttered. One 
less accustomed to her dehcate sex, less versed in 
interpreting the trifles by which their inmost feel- 
ings ai'e manifested, might have set this down to 
displeasure, and have read in the averted coun* 
tenance, timid eye, and consti'ained manners of 
the lady, an unequivocal expression of dishke. 
Not so with Croiser; he had studied woman too 
deeply — too devotedly; he had pored over every 
precious page which her nature unfolds as a de- 
hghtftd exposition of the most exquisite problem 
of his God. Not a glance — not a breath was lost 
upon him ; and as he interpreted those symptoms 
aright, a delicious glow of pleasure seemed to arise 
within his breast, mingled with doubt as to the 
manner in which he could have raised such an 
interest, and increduhty as to his powers of dis- 
cernment — so soon may our judgement be waq^ed 
where self is concerned; but in no case sooner 
than in matters of the heart. 



62 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

With what cleHght did he for the first few mi- 
nutes of their interview stand and gaze on that 
lovely countenance, marking the rise and fall of 
the roseate blush that bespoke her confusion and 
his triumph ! He was as yet without the vortex, 
and could still therefore contemplate its whirl, and 
specidate on the varied action of its currents; not 
long however was he allowed to retain the cool- 
ness necessary for such an observation. Soft and 
dreamy as was the expression of her full delicate 
eyes, the warm bright glances of youth still slum- 
bered in their recesses, and ill at ease as .Margiee 
evidently was, her truant looks would not altogether 
be subdued, but seemed to wander, despite of her, 
to the countenance at her side. Then vanished 
all tlie self-possession which but the moment be- 
fore had given him the power of scrutinizing his 
companion's feelings. The proud, determined orb 
that drooped scarcely less than her own, and the 
faltering tongue which language for the first time 
deserted, now warned him of the fascination 
tlu*own around him, as promptly but not so effect- 
ually as the sense of oppression which came 
over him, as well as the gush of pleasure which 
the heart seemed to send forth with every pulse of 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 63 

its vital current. Both felt the propriety of speak- 
ing, without the power of utterance. Croiser was 
the first to recover himself, but his words were 
wanting in the eloquent flow with which they were 
usually delivered. 

" Is — perhaps — that is — I scarcely think you 
have completed youi* bouquet — I fear I interrupted 
you — do allow me to gather some jnore ." 

" No ! I thank you — you are very kind — I be- 
heve they are all here — yes, I picked u^) the 
whole of those that fell." 

'• Are there any others which I can add, to 
your collection?" and Croiser moved on before, 
as the surest method of recovering the self-pos- 
session of both. 

Margarita made some indistinct reply, to the ef- 
fect that she " imagined she had gathered the best 
already, but if Captain Croiser could find any 
better for her to give to the Port Admiral, then 
she would thank him." 

" You are right," softly returned Croiser, sur- 
veying tlie parterre; " the fairest flower of these 
lands is already your father's — though I fear you 
are not the person who can fomi any adequate 
idea of its value." 



614 - THE PORT ADMlRALj 

" Where ? " demanded Margiee in surprise, ex- 
amining her bouquet. Then looking at him, she 
discerned the latent meaning of his speech, as 
the change on her countenance proclaimed. " I 
fancy, Captain Croiser, that in France, where you 
confess to have been so lately, they teach some- 
thing more beside those acquirements attained 
in our simple schools— how to veil a compliment, 
think you?" 

" I grant it, they do," he replied, " but only to 
those whose beauty is equalled by their wit, since 
the dull w^ould be unable to unravel it, and those 
without attractions unable to inspire it." 

" FHrting with the Quakeress ! by all the ' slings 
and arrows of outrageous Cupid ! ' " said a laugh- 
ing voice from behind, while Croiser felt two 
hands placed over his eyes, by some Hght being 
who rested on his shoulders. 

" They say, fair Janitor," replied the blinded 
officer, " that the eyes can sometimes outstrip the 
lips in language — the lips, however, are avenged, 
since they can perform an office to which no eye- 
lids -are equal. I wish that the latter were, for 
then, trust me but mine should be avenged for 
their present indignity." 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 65 

" The lips are scarcely less rebellious than the 
eyes — I love justice, so I shall punish both," re- 
moving one hand, and preventing his further 
utterance, in defiance of the threat, whose execu- 
tion seemed to afflict her but very little. " This 
is too bad of you, Margiee, to come down and 
flirt ^\-ith my chevalier, after my having de- 
clared my intention of having him all to myself. 
I understand now, why you made such haste to 
dress this morning, and wouldn't wait for me to 
come down stairs : a very pretty hour for an ap- 
pointment this ! " 

" Charlotte ! I wonder that your giddiness out- 
runs your discretion so largely." 

" Nay, now, Margiee, don't be angry with me ! 
it would only have shown your taste — for to tell 
you the truth, I myself should have been very 
happy of such an opportunity ; but alas ! 

' Nor suitor, nor a swain have I, 
The cause I'll no diWne ; 
If 'tis a faut, I'll still deny — 
The faut's nae faut o' mine.' " 

Singing this old distich with much untaught me- 
lody. Chatty clasped her more sentimental sister 
by tlie waist, and in an instant were waltzing 



66 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

round the time-worn sim-dial, two of the bright- 
est ephemera that ever yet disported in Apollo's 
beam. 

" Can such beings indeed fade? and resolve 
into the dust on which we tread?" demanded 
Croiser of himself, losing in that mournful re- 
membrance of our nature, all the bliss of such a 
scene. 

" Dearest Chatty, let me pause ! " cried Marga- 
rita, obliged to give in. 

" Yes, you shall, love," replied Charlotte, ar- 
resting her rapid whirl and impressing on the 
pure brow of her younger sister " that humid seal 
of soft affection" which bespoke them twin in 
hearts as in birth. " Come, my knight-errant, 
since it is your duty to succour all distressed 
damsels by strength of arms, pr'ythee lend us thy 
elbows, for now, it seems, Margiee's head is as 
giddy as mine. Where did you leam to give a 
lady your arm? You do it well; now tell me 
who taught you ? " 

Fortunately for Croiser, before he had time to 
answer these questions, the wonderful Militia 
Major Puff made his appearance, hopping along 
on his timber-toe, and making such a hole in the 



A TALE OF THE WAE. 67 

gravelled walks at every two or three steps, that 
one would have imagined him hired to ti'ansplant 
cabbages (did these flourish in such a soil) by my 
defimct friend, General Stewart, of the Scottish 
Agricultural Society. 

" A fine morning to you, Ladies ; a very fine 
morning to you. Well, I declai'e, you've actually 
been out before breakfast ! Where may you have 
been?" 

" On an immense journey, I assure you. Major ! 
We've just been abroad in Ireland and a most dis- 
turbed state it's in — and are only now on our re- 
tmii. I desii'e that you'll put oiu- amval at full 
length in the United Anchor and Blunderbuss 
Journal. I engage to pay all extra expenses 
and correct the spelling and bad grammar." 

« ReaUy, Miss." 

" Nay, ^lajor, never trouble yourself to apolo- 
gize for the insufficiency of your education, we 
all know that follows as a matter of course \^ith 
' military men.' " 

" Fine day, Miss ! Very fine day, Miss !" was 
the nasal salutation of Captain Bombast, who next 
approached, " Where may you have been, Miss, 
this fine mgming ? " 



68 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

" Oh dear ! Captain, we're tired beyond all pa- 
tience, we've just returned from the Long-bow 
Islands!" 

" What, Miss ?" said the Captain astonished. 

" I say we've just^come from the Long-bow Is- 
lands, where we met your father and left him upon 
the shore sighing for White Horse Cellar and a 
piece of bread and butter."* 

" Ugh ! Ugh ! eh — ehem, a very fine morn- 
ing this. Major Puff!" resumed the great traveller, 
now turning to his friend, much chagiined. 

" A beautiful morning — I may say a very beau- 
tiful morning, CajDtain Bombast," replied the won- 
derful Major, while Charlotte tripped along to the 
breakfast-parlour, leaving the antiquated bores 
behind her, to enjoy their never-failing anodyne 
in such cases — mutual condolence and mutual 
praise. 

" Where is the Port Admiral ? " was the univer- 
sal inquiry at the breakfast-table. The servant 
announced that his master had got out of bed 
during the night and hurt his back ; in conse- 

• For a solution of this and several other allusions, T must 
irefer the Reader to the marvellous captain's book of travels 
which is, or was, or will be published. 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 69 

quence of which his jolly visage was not to be 
visible until the hour of dinner, which inten-al 
he intended to dedicate to resting himself. He 
however begged to assure Margiee " that his ap- 
petite was undiminished, and requested she would 
give him a full allowance." 

Having seen to this order, and sent the servant 
on before with a sufficient supply of jelly, marr 
malade, toast, eggs, ham, coffee, &c., as an inva- 
lid might want, she presently paid the old officer 
a visit in person, to assure herself that he had not 
diminished his aiUngs in the report sent down. 

Breakfast being finished, Croiser repaii'ed to 
the billiard-room with Charlotte, when, having lost 
sundry rubbers to his fair antagonist, they were 
joined by Margarita, who proposed a stroll through 
the gi'ounds till the houi' of dinner. In the coiuse 
of their walk, Charlotte explained to Croiser that 
Sir Richard Salisbury was about to give a grand 
naval dinner to all his junior officers, from which 
"Bunting-main" had insisted on excluding all the 
females of the family, very much to the annoyance 
of Charlotte, who felt anything but pleased at 
losing this opportunity of making sundry con^ 
quests among the sons of Neptune. 



70 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

" It is SO horrid of Papa," she continued, " to 
have all those rough creatures dining together. 
However, there is this consolation, it will be very 
stupid ! So you see. Captain Croiser, if you 
like to dine with all these " 

" Thank you — I feel no very gTeat deshe to 
have my ears split by four or five hours of in- 
cessant talking on corned pork, salt junk, banyan 
days, pursers' books, water stowage, ballast, g-uns, 
and prize-money, and so Ladies, if you could make 
room for an unworthy " 

" Knight at our table — am I right ?" . 

" Exactly so." 

" Well, now thou art a good creature ! I like 
you for that. And as for those sea-bears with 
old Captain Wheezey at their head, I do declare 
I will be even with them ! " 

Among the many marked traits so conspicuous 
in Charlotte's character, none were more evident 
than a love of what she called " fun," which 
evinced itself in numberless practical tricks and 
manual jokes, doubtless very amusing to herself 
and the spectators, but often annoying to the 
objects of their ridicule, and not unfrequently 
o?ial a 2Jropos in their results. It was one of these 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 71 

that she had now detennmed to play off in return for 
her exclusion from the xldmiral's dinner party. 

And in the prosecution of this httle scheme, 
Fortune favoured her by throwing in her way, on 
the very day when the dinner was given, the cox- 
swain of Commodore Wheezey. This officer was 
her utter aversion, he was a great tyrant, and far 
more hideous than many shapes which Sin puts 
on for our temptation. He was one of the party, 
and his ship was lying at anchor in the Soimd. 
The commanding officer on boai'd having sud- 
denly perceived a strange sail in the offing, pre- 
pared to get under weigh in chase, and as the 
first step sent the said coxswain to acquaint his 
Commodore with the fact, in order that he might 
come on board. Charlotte happening to meet 
this sailor on the lawn, put some money into 
his hand, and sent him back to the tavern at the 
landing-place to wait the coming of his superior ; 
desiring him at the same time to treat his men 
to some spirits, then, without the loss of another 
instant, she hunied off from the spot where this 
rencontre took place, to the room where the ban- 
quet was at its zenith. 

The meal itself had not long been finished, 



72 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

but the sen^ants had withdrawn, and the babel 
of the wine-cup was attended with sufficient noise 
to prevent any shghter sound from being heard. 
Making the most of her opportunity, Charlotte 
with the utmost caution turned the key on the 
revellers, and extricating it from the lock, made 
off without delay to such a spot in the grounds 
as she deemed safe from all pursuit. The con- 
ftision of the party, on discovering the situation 
in which they were placed, and the consterna- 
tion of the Commodore, on hearing the signal 
guns from the ship, can easily be imagined. The 
junior division of the party seemed far fr-om cha- 
grined, but the seniors gravely shook their heads 
while Sir Richard himself was in a quandary — 
whether to frown or smile. They were at length 
released by the labours of the smith; the ladies 
received them with due surprise, the Admiral 
chided and Charlotte protested, but after that 
night the former never gave a party without 
taking care that the female staflf should be duly 
invited. 

In the meanwhile, Croiser, released from 
the sad monotony of being at sea, gave himself 
up without the shghtest restraint to the delights 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 73 



around him, and enjoyed in the society of the 
gifted but placid Margarita, a happiness that had 
long been unknown to him, a happiness that 
bid fair to detach him from all beside. But the 
time had at length anived when he found it 
imperative on him to depart. "To-mori'ow," 
said he, awaking from the reverie in which he 
had been pacing his chamber before retiring to 
rest — " to-morrow I must — I will end this de- 
lusion ; once at sea, and this weakness will leave 
me. And yet," he added, seating himself at his 
toilette, and leaning his forehead on his hand, 
*' how poorly will all my schemes of ambition 
repay me for the sacrifice ! ^Miat dull aching 
at my heart is this ? I am unnerved. Were I 
only free to choose ? Were I not in his power, 
were I imcompromised in honour — I would have 
happiness of a different cast ! In such a retreat 
as this, with such a form to clasp to my lonely 
bosom ! Exquisite happiness ! No schemes, how- 
ever gigantic, can make up to me for its loss! 
Shall I abandon them ? " — suddenly starting from 
his position and pacing the room once more. 
" Would to Heaven that I could !" Croiser paused ; 
and leaning his aims on the mantel piece, he 

VOL. II. E 



74 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

gazed long and earnestly at the little miniature 
portrait of a fair young girl which seemed, by the 
accumulated dust on the frame, to have hung in 
its present position undisturbed for years. 

" Dear epitome of innocence and beauty ! " he 
continued, apostrophising the senseless semblance 
of her whose influence he now felt so deeply, " if 
my heart were as calm as yours, I might yet re- 
nounce the phantom for the reality, and if not 
great, at least be happy ! Yet how foolishly I 
reason ! What do I seek as the end of all this am- 
bitious struggle? Is it revenge ? Alas, I have seen 
the effects of that ! Is it aggrandizement ? Poor 
Fool ! that is the empty breath of fellow worms. 
Shall I sacrifice every substantial comfort for the 
shadowy adulations of those who will then be beneath 
me ! Is it then moral greatness which I endeavour to 
attain ? What ! Expose myself to the cutting blasts 
of envy and ingratitude — the deceits of falsehood — 
the snares of hollow and designing friends — placing 
a barrier between myself and all the kindlier of- 
fices of my fellow-creatures and voluntarily shar- 
ing the fate of those from whom all sympathy and 
sincerity are shut out? Surely I have been de- 
ceived — this cannot be the meteor whose track I 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 75 

had proposed to follow — the bubble whose pur- 
suits now call on me to leave behind content- 
ment and domestic bliss ? Let me awake be- 
fore it is too late ! Is not the end of life to be 
happy ? Without a doubt ! Then can I hesitate 
between the imaginary feUcity of successful am- 
bition, and the possession of one as devoted as 
myself? Yet is she as devoted ? How do I 
know it ? Is not this vanity ? Am I not pledged 
— bound in honom:? Is it not weak to waver 
for an instant ? Compromised as I am, I ^ill go 
thi-ough with it, I have forsworn those failings of 
the heart, which can subdue natures less stem 
than mine. I do, I do feel the sacrifice, fair 
Cherub, and thus I wear it ! " pressing the minia- 
ture to his hps. " And had it been yet gi'eater tJian 
it is, I would have sustained it rather than endure 
a stigma on what is more sacred to me than my 
life or even my love — I will go, dear shadow ! I 
will go — to-morrow ! I will look on your dear 
original once more, and then leave for ever one 
who can tempt me to forget every thing except her- 
self. Had I but never seen her ! Yet regret is a 
useless grief, as the deed is done, this shall serve 
as a memento of one dehghtful era of my life, as 

e2 



76 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

well as of the sacrifice I have made for him. I 
have forsworn the weaknesses of humanity, and I 
will keep my oath, be the price what it may. I'll 
think of her no more 1 " 

While uttering these words, Croiser unfastened 
the ivory miniature fi'om its frame, and hanging 
the latter in its place, once more pored long 
and ardently on the former ; then putting it 
away very carefully in his note-case, with a 
lock of hair which once belonged to the same 
fair owner, and which had likewise been taken 
without her knowledge, he extinguished his can- 
dles and sought repose. 

Alas Humanity ! How often is a resolution 
broken, even in the same breath in which it is 
made; for while Croiser strained every faculty to 
contemplate only those visions of pride, ambition, 
and glory, which he had so long nourished, the de- 
licate form of Margarita seemed to hover around 
him, and he started up to fold to his tortured bo- 
som the fleeting phantom which he was not 
allowed to possess, yet vainly endeavom-ed to 
banish! Gradually her soft image became more 
and more impalpable — now he was sighing at her 
feet, now her hand was clasped in his, and then 



A TALE OF THE WAPw 77 

his head was pillowed on her shoulder — Raptur- 
ously he gazed on her hght hazel eve, until its 
drooping hd gradually closed over the expressive 
orb within, and slumber fell upon his soul, bring- 
ing in its train those foretastes of fehcity which 
only inexperienced youth can know. 



78 



CHAPTER IV. 

'* I saw thy pulse's maddening play, 
Wild send thee pleasure's devious way, 
Misled by fancy's meteor ray, 

By passion driv'n ; 
But yet the light that led astray, 

Was light from Heav'n." 

BURKS. 

We will now pass to the chamber of the sisters, 
who never having been separated, viewed in each 
other, only a less intimate portion of self. The 
room was large and lofty ; on the polished oak 
pannels of the wainscotted walls were seen in high 
relief the various quarterings and emblazonry of 
the family arms, while here a mailed head of some 
chief renowned in fields of blood, together with 
the more delicate features of some fair lady for whom 
perhaps ensanguined streams had flowed in days 
bygone, were interspersed with sundry little battle- 
pieces, where the most prominent figures were dis- 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 79 

tinctly visible from the light which fell on them, 
while the back-grounds remained in gloom. 

The night wind which was rising, sighed heavily 
among the turrets of the old building, as it swept 
around in numerous eddies, and its sounds were 
echoed and multiplied in the large chimney, now 
no longer wanted for its original purpose, but 
closed at its lower aperture, where the pohshed 
brass dogs for supporting the wood fire remained 
alone on the spacious granite hearth. The fire- 
place, which alone would have admitted a man to 
stand upright in it, was surmounted by a high 
sculptured mantel, over which was the bust of a 
former lord carved in oak and large as life. The 
features were in profile, and the head was pro- 
tected by a plumed casque. As the rays of the 
caudles fell on the high cheek-bone, the promi- 
nent eye-ball, and aquihne nose, it almost seemed 
as if the grim chief had been restored fi-om the 
grave, and contemplated with no little sternness 
and severity the peaceful purpose to which his 
ancient armoury had been turned. 

How such ligneous gentry may feel, I will not 
pretend to determine, but had his hero's heart 
been made of flesh, even of such callous flesh as 



80 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

we meet with in these modem times, he could not 
but have smiled in rapture on the fair occupants 
of his former magazine, and hav^e acknowledged 
in their eyes, weapons far more resistless in their 
execution, nor less subduing than the spears, ar- 
rows, and cross-bow bolts with which it had been 
stored in his own day. Saving the marks which 
I have mentioned, the thick walls with their nar- 
row, high, and embrazure-like windows, little was 
left that bespoke the former use of the apartment. 
A carpet from the looms of Persia covered the 
polished oak floor, and rendered inaudible by its 
thick shaggy pile the fairy footsteps that tripped 
over it. The rest of the furniture, while it bespoke 
comfort and elegance, was yet in strict keeping 
with the room. Between the gothic windows stood 
the toilette, supporting a large mirror, beside the 
carved and gilded frame of which burned the 
candles ; around were ranged in the most scrupulous 
neatness, sundry brushes, combs, and perfumes, 
with many other little nicknacks, the very order so 
evident among which, at once proclaimed the sex 
of the owners ; independent of the delicate being 
who sat opposite in one of the high backed chairs 
of the Elizabethan century. 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 81 

Her dark hair had been loosened from every 
confinement, and while one hand was seen ghtter- 
ing through the profusion of its glossy locks, dis- 
entangling some rebel curl which was no sooner 
released than it sprung back into its former 
convolutions, the other held a httle figure of 
porcelain, the inscription on the base of which 
pronounced it to be Napoleon Buonaparte, First 
Consul of the French repubhc. Bemg hollow, it 
was filled with one of those dehcious perfiimes for 
which our Parisian fiiends are so justlv celebrated. 
As Margarita inhaled the dehghtful odour, she 
raised her eye to the mirror opposite. Her hair 
parting in the middle of her forehead, fell down 
on either side, and while it increased the oval 
shape of her features, seemed by the contrast to 
take away even the slight shade of colour which 
generally played upon her cheek, leaving it pure 
as the snowy veil of Chimborazo. Her counte- 
nance still more touchingly displayed its usual 
expression, where the romance of youth mingled 
with the warm yet plaintive softness so character- 
istic of the Beauties of Erin ; she being connected 
with that rich land by her motlier's side. Well 

E 3 



82 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

might one say of her in the words of the blind 
bard of Paradise, 

" Grace was in all her steps, heaven in her eye, 
In every gesture dignity and love ! " 

She appeared to start at the palHd hues thus re- 
flected, and sighed — that long suppressed sigh 
which seems to steal involuntarily from the hearts 
of those with whom a shade of melancholy is a 
natural trait. 

"Well! and what art thou sighing about?" 
inquired Chatty in a gay tone of voice, and de- 
sisting from her amusement of whirling round the 
room, she approached her sister, then put her arm 
round Margarita's neck, leant over the chair, and 
affectionately kissed her forehead. 

"Sighing? did I sigh. Chatty?" 

" Sigh ? yes : you're as mournful as an owl in 
an ivytod, as Honest Jamie would say. And 
now I think of it, I do believe you ai'e in love, so 
make room for me on your knee and let me see. " 

"'Love!' Charlotte? I am surprised to hear 
you talking of such nonsense to me; you know I 
leave that to you^ " replied the younger twin, giving 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 83 

to her sister the seat she desired, while the latter 
laying her head back on Margiee's shoulder and 
embracing her yet more closely, proceeded to gain 
the desired information by a species of eduction 
denominated — if my remembrance of these little 
matters serve me correctly — coaxing. In this, 
however, not the shghtest feehng of art or guile 
was mixed up. On the contrary, these caresses 
were the spontaneous effusions of a family love 
which they inherited fi*om the amiable old Admiral, 
and which was as beautiful as it is rare. 

" AVhat have you here ? My Napoleon — 
Croiser's present ! Tell me, Margiee ! Is it not 
Croiser of whom you were thinking?" Mai'ga- 
rita was silent. An answer was however unneces- 
sary ; her confused look and the sudden suffusion 
of her cheek betrayed the truth. 

" How silly of you, Charlotte ! I wish you were 
less fond of bantering. " 

" AVhat then! do you not really care about 
him?" inquired the elder twin with a look of 
much animation. 

" I am surprised to think you can entertain 
such a thought! What! a stranger whose birth 



g4 THE POIiT ADMIRAL, 

and family — whose occupation even, is unknown 
to us! Nay more — after being our guest for a 
fortnight, he still shuns all approaches to such 
a knowledge, and wears a mask of the greatest 
mystery. How giddy of you to suppose such 
a thing!" 

" Well well ! I'm glad you don't love him — 
because / do. So now 1 shall have him all to 
myself. " 

" Of what jest will you tell me next ? " 

" ' Jest ! ' dear Margiee ! 1 am in determined 
earnest, I assure you ; — why not ? " 

Margiee turned her head slightly so as to meet 
her sister's eye, and then rephed, " Are you po- 
sitively not joking, Charlotte?" 

" Positively I am wo^ joking." 

" Then you ought to be ashamed of acting such 
a coquette's part, when you know how devotedly 
attached Lord Falconer is to you, and when you are 
aware that you have held out considerable hopes 
both to captain Fairfax and his cousin Sefton." 

"Oh! as to Colonel Sefton, he's an intolerable 
puppy, and it's only fair to mortify him." 

" And Captain Fairfax — what of him ? " 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 85 

" WTiy the wretch is so ugly and so bearish, 
that it was a great piece of presumption in him to 
have any hopes at all." 

" Fie Charlotte ! But even gi'anting these paltry 
excuses for having gratified your love of conquest, 
what can you m-ge against young Falconer, as 
accomphshed and handsome as he is amiable ? " 

"Pooh! all a pack of stuff. 'Urge?' ^\Tiy 
has he not quarrelled wdth me r " 

" Nay : I should rather think it must have been 
you who quaiTelled with Jiim : but granting the con- 
trary, I know that he has ample reason ; for who 
that has any affection for you, can see you canying 
on a flirtation with ever\' one around, and not be 
grieved at your thus maning the many noble 
qualities so conspicuous in you ! " 

" Now ! what a horrid prude are you Margiee ! 
Will you never be kind enough to spare me these 
continual lectures ? I think that you might do so, 
considering that I am yom' elder sister, and " 

" Ought therefore to know better. " 

" Nay then, my Lady-Pearl, since you are so de- 
sirous of retiie\'ing my errors, suppose you make 
it up to the poor swain yomself. I'U tmTi over 
to you all right and interest in this handsome. 



86 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

amiable, and accomplished young noble, and 
may you be Lady Falconer next month ! " 

" Many thanks, but the match will not exactly 
suit — for two very sufficient reasons; the first — 
because I do not yet feel myself reduced to the 
alternative of accepting the refusals even of my 
brilliant sister, and the next, because, unhke 
herself, I am not — unfortunately — one of those 
butterflies who flit from flower to flower." 

"Very good!" retorted Charlotte, rising rather 
piqued. " Henceforth you shall be known as a 
perfect Lady Constant; your Adonis need dread 
no change nor shade of variation from one so true. 
How happy will he be! I really must take it 
upon myself to apprise him of it — this Captain — 
What's his name — Croiser? Which do you say 
he is — a spy or a smuggler ? Truly a respectable 
gentleman-ruffian ! Far preferable to an amiable, 
handsome, and accomplished lord. Surely I had 
not considered his lofty rank when I aspired to 
his love ! Well Margarita, your advice was kind, 
very kmd, seeing that you have an eye to him- 
self. Truly you must have a great regard for him, 
when even his gifts to another are so dear to you 
as it seems that figure of Napoleon is! How 



A TALE OP THE WAE. 87 

shameful to lavish his offerings on me and yet 
present none to the * ladye of his love!' Nay! do 
not put my Napoleon down, allow me to request 
your acceptance of it." And as Charlotte thus 
concluded, she proffered the figure of Buonaparte 
which contained the scent to Margarita, who had 
just replaced it on the toilette. 

The latter merely waved her hand as if to reje<:t 
it, while she repHed with great coolness, unlock- 
ing a drawer in her toilette-table and displaying a 
little French box of polished satin-wood, " Your 
unusually kind offer has been rendered unneces- 
sary by the ' gentleman -rufiian' himself, who very 
kindly gave me this present the day after you 
received your own — perhaps you would hke to 
examine it ? " 

Oh certainly ! " replied Charlotte, very much 
surprised, while she endeavoiued to hide her vex- 
ation under the mask of her usual levity. " Well 
I declare — one, two, foiu, five, six, different 
scents — pommade VArcole — huile de VEgypte — 
rouge rosee — a perfect toilette in miniature ! 
And so he thinks you want a little rouge, does 
he ? " Charlotte pronounced the last phrase 



88 THE POET ADMIRAL, 

with a tantalizing tone of pleasure, as she drew 
forth the gilded little book, on the back of which 
the name of this feminine abomination was written. 
— " ' Rouge rosee'' — doubtless very fine ! Certes, he 
must already contemplate your charms, heighten- 
ed by a delicate couleur de rose^'' she continued 
in her bantering tone ; when opening the book 
she appeared to read something that suddenly 
rendered her even more pallid than her sister, 
and bursting into tears as she availed herself of 
the nearest seat, she exclaimed, " Margarita, you 
have shamefully deceived me ! I could not have 
expected this at your hands !" 

" Nay, dearest Love, you wrong me, indeed you 
do ! " quickly rephed Margiee, her gathering dis- 
pleasure instantly dissolving before her sister's 
grief. " What could make you imagine it for a 
moment ?" taking up the fatal object, of the exist- 
ence of which she had hitherto been unaware, 
and was therefore at first annoyed at the hint 
which, according to Charlotte's interpretation, was 
conveyed by it. To her confusion, she beheld 
that the leaves of the cosmetic itself had been 
cut out, and in their place a piece of writing 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 89 

paper had been inserted, bearing the following 
lines in Croiser's hand :— - 

" Hence ! vile cosmetic, and reserve for age, 
The withering splendours of your crimson page ! 
To that fair cheek no charms could'st thou impart, 
"Where nature shames the brightest hues of art. 
There the peari'd ore — the madder's vermil lake • 
Must mar the loveliness they seek to make. 
Thy merest touch would taint that perfect whole, 
Whose pure complexion speaks a purer soul." 

" On my honour, Charlotte, I was ignorant of 
these Hnes until this moment !" said Margarita. 
After a sHght pause, " "SMiat would you wish me 
to do ? Shall I send them back r " 

" No, oh no ! " sobbed the other, " it's no use to 
do that. I have no right to dictate to you whether 
you shall repel or receive the advances of any 
one! And surely he has a right to please him- 
self." 

• The cosmetic, sold under the name of Pearl powder, is, I be- 
lieve, a preparation of zinc or bismuth, while the rouge itself not 
unfrequently is made of madder root. My Reader may wonder 
how I should know so much about it ; but will she be pleased to 
recollect that I am a very old man, and one to whom these things 
are permitted, in the words of Pope, 

*' One wouldn't sure look ugly when one's dead — 
And— Betty give this cheek a little red." 



90 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

" But consider, Charlotte, he might have meant 
nothing by these silly lines — further than a casual 
compliment." 

" But tell me. Love," resumed Charlotte after a 
pause, " do you not really care for him ? " 

" As a guest and a gentleman, Charlotte, I re- 
spect him, and should be sorry to hear of any- 
thing befalling him. But as to my entertaining 
any deeper feeling for him, the thing — ^is — out — 
of the question. Though I assure you this is 
the case, yet I beseech you ." 

" Now don't reproach me, Margiee, but I 
thought that — that — in some little trifles I ob- 
served a greater partiality for him than you ge- 
nerally show to — to — -the young men that Papa 
always has about him ! " 

Despite of the positive assertions that Marga- 
rita had been making, the last remark from her 
sister produced an effect that one might not have 
expected. Twice she attempted a reply, but her 
self-possession failing her, she remained silent. 

*^ Then I may confide, Love, on what you have 
said ? " inquired Charlotte, once more flinging her 
arms round Margiee*s neck. " Because you know, 



A TALE OF THE WAPw 91 

dearest, if you had marked out our fiery hero 
for a conquest — why — I wouldn't for worlds 
think of interfering, but stick to my old, detest- 
able suite. Colonel Sefton and Lord Falconer, and 
that great sea-bear, Fairfax." 

" No Chai'lotte, you will not interfere with 
me." 

" Then why, dear Margiee, do you sigh in 
saying so, and blush when I mention him ? 
Why I declare even now I feel you quite 
trembling !" 

" I have sufficient reason to sigh, Charlotte," 
retm-ned the sister, passing over the other leSvS 
equivocal signs of emotion, " when I reflect on 
the store of sorrow and misery which you are laying 
up for yourself; fixing your afiections one moment, 
to withdraw them the next. Consider, very few 
days have elapsed since we completed oiu eighteenth 
birth-day, and yet, if I am to beheve all that I 
hear, you have felt or fancied this same passion of 
love no less than four times— while to me it is 
perfectly unknown — except by name ! Remember 
how fervently you protested to me that each afiair 
was to be your last. The first survived six 



92 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

months, since which, every succeeding transport 
has proved of yet shorter duration than the one 
which pre-occupied your volatile bosom. It was 
only two months ago that Lord Falconer was 
every thing. How many hours, night after night, 
have you not kept me awake proving that his 
beauty vied with or surpassed that of Apollo; 
that Crichton himself was not more accomplished, 
or Chatelar more fond or devoted ! Sad Charlotte ! 
After this, to think that in five weeks you should 
quarrel with this deity of your heart, and dethrone 
him to set up a perfect stranger, inferior to him in 
appearance 1" 

" Nay Margiee, I will not grant that ! " 

" Why he is neither so tall, nor are his features 
so perfect." 

" Well, still there is something — more expres- 
sion." 

" Well, then as to his accomplishments — " 

" Why he has not that insipid sameness which 
Lord Falconer always has !" 

" Oh fickle Charlotte ! At any rate then you 
must admit that the other has the advantage over 
him in fondness and devotion towards you." 

" Yes exactly, and that's why I dislike him. 



A TALE OF THE WAIL 93 

It's SO spaniel-like, I might do what I choose to 
him and he'd never resent it. It tires me always 
to see him running after me, and if I merely look 
twice at any other man, why he's ready to faint or 
expire, or some stuff of that sort. Now there's a 
nice fierceness which gleams out occasionally from 
Croiser which I like, as if he were determined to 
maintain his own station— he has all Lord Fal- 
coner's ardour without his milk-and-water." 

" Come, now, Charlotte, this is ver}- imfatr; 
you cannot accuse his Lordship of want of spirit, 
since we know Papa's opioion of the way in which 
he commands his fine frigate ; besides, how many 
officers have we heard praisiug his bravery in the 
extreme ! Again, Chai'lotte, this fierceness which 
you now so frowardly admire, will scarcely brook 
to be made the plaything of your heart, as so many 
others have been. Do consider where tliis may 
end ! I scarcely pretend to advise you, but do, 
dearest Charlotte, do reflect ! Mild as Lord Fal- 
coner is to you, he may not, at his return from sea, 
which must be shortly, feel so mildly inchned to- 
wards Captain Croiser ! Reflect what misery you 
might bring upon us all by their collision. And 
even," she continued, seeing that these argimients 



94 THE POET ADMIRAL, 

made some impression on her hearer, " supposing 
that no actual ill arose from such a proceeding, 
how can you lightly make up your mind to tamper 
with the feelings of one who deserves so highly at 
your hands? I know — I am sure — I have very 
sufficient grounds for knowing that Lord Falconer 
is truly attached to you ; more so, perhaps, than 
ever Captain Croiser may be, or even supposing 
that he was — in such an energetic character you 
must be prepared to find a lord as well as a hus- 
band." 

" A lord indeed ! / find a lord in my husband ! 
— Nay, I should not fear that much, be the man 
who he may !" retorted Charlotte, quickly, with 
the gaiety so prominent in her disposition, while 
by this unlucky suggestion Margarita lost all the 
gi'ound she had previously gained. 

To a spirit so determined and buoyant as that of 
her elder sister, one word of opposition proved 
a gi'eater stimulus towards any given end, than a 
month spent in persuasion and encouragement. 

" Now do, Margiee, do let me discard Lord 
Falconer and take up Croiser ! I know he is much 
more my sort of man. I did'nt comprehend Fal- 
coner's character at first : I was thinking of his 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 96 

namesake, the ' Shipwreck ' man, and imagined he 
must be quite a poetical hero. I can't tell how I 
was so stupid — but Croiser — O ! Croiser's just 
the very personage ! Now don't laugh, Margiee 
— I do feel quite convinced of it this time. Be- 
sides, I don't hke Falconer's blue eyes — you know 
they're too soft for a man. As for changing, I 
declare I won't change again, on my word of ho- 
nour, sister ! and you know I am very scrupulous 
about that. Then again, as to Croiser's never be- 
in^ so fond of me — why that will pique my affec- 
tion for him, and keep it alive, and then that will 
be a pleasing task for me, and I think I can effect 
that — at least you know, dear Margiee, I have 
never failed before !" glancing slightly at the 
mirror. 

"Yes, yes. Chatty, this may all be very well; the 
risks that concern yoiu own happiness you must 
be content to undergo, as the price of your fickle- 
ness. The person however whom I most pity is 
poor Falconer: what is to become of him ?"' 

" Deal* me, Margarita, what a teasing lecturer 
you are ! You talk of my having been four times 
in love. I'll put the same question to yourself. 



96 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

And how many times have you been in the same 
predicament?" 

" Why, Chatty, if your descriptions of this 
tremendous passion be true, I may safely answer, 
Never. " 

"Yes, once I think!" 

" Never, I assure you — to what do you allude ? ** 

" Pity is a-kin they say to love ; and you seem to 
afford a great deal of the former to Falconer. 
Come now, Margiee, suppose you take him in 
hand, just ^our passer le temps ! With your 
talents you could soon mould him to anything. 
I should think too, his soft, pliable disposition 
would amalgamate admirably with yours." 

" No, Charlotte, I would never entertain such a 
proposition for a moment. Should I ever feel my 
affections excited in the way you mention, 1 feel 
convinced it will be by a different character from 
that of Lord Falconer, amiable and attentive as 
I confess he is. With such views, tlierefore, I 
deem it a sacred duty in every woman, to hold no 
degree of encouragement to any man whose suit 
she is not prepared to favour to its fullest extent. 
Those who do otherwise — in my estimation — act 



A TALE OF THE WAE. ^ 

a part as unfeminine and unmaidenly as it is 
dishonourable and unworthy." 

" Come, now, Margiee, your code is very severe ; 
but maybe one of these days, you'll gain a Uttle 
more practical experience in these matters. Theo- 
rists are but poor lawgivers ! I yet live in hopes 
to see you over head and ears in love yourself. 
Oh ! how I should deUght in it ! However, mean- 
while, I tell you what we can do for this ' Ship- 
wi'ecked' man. You know there was a sort of 
flirtation between Falconer and that Uvely rattle, 
Lucy Talpoys, whom Papa calls my second self; 
well, when Falconer comes home, I can ask her 
to come and stay with us, and then we can fling 
them together constantly, and so make a match of 
it. I know she likes his title." 

" ' His title,' Charlotte ! How can you mention so 
poor a bauble ? You run on in such a style, I shall 
soon begin to think that you have no heart at all, 
in.stead of one for every person. You talk of love 
as if it were melon-seed, and had only to be sown 
in a good hot-bed and protected from the weather, 
to spring up at once into fmit ; instead of regard- 
ing it as a passion sacred at least, if not dreadful; 

VOL. II. F 



98 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

since its results are often fraught with the most 
fatal influence on the rest of our existence ! " 

" Well said ! Margiee, a direct plagiarism from 
the last romance. You are, as I said before, 
a most scrupulous theorist, but we shall see by 
and by!" As she said this the light-hearted 
beauty laid her head on her pillow, while Marga- 
rita, who was conscious of having allowed more 
of the romantic sentiment of her character to 
escape than usual, remained silent, until the tacit 
communion of those pure hearts having ascended 
to the Power which claimed their homage, she lit 
the little lamp which was to preserve a light 
through the remaining hours, and joined her elder 
sister. 

" Well Margiee," said the latter, " I think even 
now that I'm sorry you won't have that Falconer." 

" What then you really pity him ? " 

" Why I don't exactly pity the wretch, but then 
I think he'd have such a dear creature of a consort, 
and she no bad spouse — perhaps — after all." 

" Come, come, friend, get thee to sleep, since 
thinking so only proves thee more fooHsh than I 
had imagined." 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 99 

As Charlotte's eyelids warmly seconded this 
motion, the gentle and regular breathings of tliese 
bright buds of promise, soon announced their 
enjoyment of that dreamless slumber which flies 
the couch of care, ambition, vice, or guile, to 
bestow its invaluable bliss on purity and worth. 



F 2 



100 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 



CHAPTER V. 



" Farewell ! farewell !— the voice you hear 

Has left its sad farewell with you ; 
It next must join the seaward cheer, 

And shout among the shouting crew ! 
The accents, which I scarce could form 

Beneath thy frown's controlling check. 
Must give the word above the storm. 

To cut the mast and clear the wreck ! " 



PIRATE. 



In vain did Croiser's heart secretly look for a re- 
prieve of that sentence which his judgement had 
resolutely pronounced. The morning's sun arose 
in all its splendour, and as that nameless sickness 
of the heart which attends any event of interest, 
awoke him from the matin slumbers in which 
he usually took so much dehght, he taxed his me- 
mory in vain to recall what awful fate awaited 
him ; till throwing open his casement to inhale 
the balmy air, the beautiful domain before him 



A TALE OF TH^ WAR. Wl 

buist on his view, and at once recalled the fair 
enchantress of those woods, whose image w-as 
so inseparably linked with every beauty which his 
eye surveyed. 

Hurriedly arraying^ himself, he walked out to 
take a last farewell of those pleasant scenes, and 
indulge in the reflections which he might be so 
naturally supposed to feel. Directing his steps 
to the ruined tower, where he first met Margarita 
Salisbury, he pursued his route muttering his 
" wayward fancies as he roved," until his career was 
suddenly arrested by some huge moving bulk, and 
looking up he beheld himself opposed to Tim 
Tarpauline of the Nine Fathoms, who, like him- 
self, was wending his way towards the tower, now 
withm a few yards. 

As Croiser surveyed the exterior of his faithfid 
mate, he could nothelp thinking that he was dress- 
ed as if on the occasion of meeting some one of 
importance. His blue jacket, the seams and edges 
of which were covered "^ith black-painted canvass, 
seemed sprucely bi-ushed, his low and round poled 
hat was exchanged for one of the same form, but 
of a newer date. His long cue was ' nattily * ar- 
ranged ; even his old dark dudeen or short pipe, 



102 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

which always retained its station under his hat 
ribbon, even that appeared poHshed up, while his 
canvass breeks were white as snow, and shoes 
displayed a pair of new gold buckles. So smart 
an appearance excited Croiser's inquiry : " For 
what port are you bound, Tim ? " But Tim hav- 
ing assured his honour that " he only came there 
to have a little bit of a reconnoitre as it may 
be," began to inquire " if his honour had met 
with a fellow knocking about here, who com- 
plained o' being rather loose in the starn post ? " — 
This having brought on simdry questions, Tim 
explained that " having lately gone to a bit of a 
landing by starlight, just merely to get a di'op of 
ti'ue Nantz — he being run dry — he met a chap in 
a glazed hat and pea-coat," here he narrated the fight 
and his subsequent help — " who steered us into 
these seas and made me bring up in a snug Uttle 
berth suiely, then telHng me to keep my anchors 
down till so be as he came back, in the turn of 
a bed-post, he slipped his cable and made sail, 
and I've never been able to set eyes on him since, 
or I'd make him pay the piper for such a scaly 
trick. However this I will say, whoever the chap 
may be, he's a jolly-hearted feUow, and spins as 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 103 

good a yam as ever I'd wish to hang up a dull 
hour by. Aye, your honour, he not only spins a 
good yam, but what's nearly as good, he can hear 
one — though I do wish for his sake he'd lamed 
better manners when he was a younter. There was 
I left alone with Sal at low water, to hang out till 
gun-fire — obliged to freshen the nip with a thimble 
full at a time, for fear of iTuming short, and then 
in a pretty hubbub meanwhile, seeing how my old 
timbers might hap to get aground for want o'" — 

" Not water, Tim." 

" Umph, no, your honour ; IVe had enough of 
that ever since that time off Cape Maccaroni" 

" Well well, Tim," interrupted his commander, 
checking the oft-repeated tale of his wonderflU 
escape from drowning, "we know all that, but 
tell me did these things take place on the same 
night that they rolled the poor devil of an excise- 
man over the hill ? " 

" Aye, your honour, the very same. Lor ! 
what a rumble that fellow must have had — they 
made his ribs crack again, I know — and to think 
of the chap not being much the worse for it after 
all!" 

" Ah ! by the bye — so they tell me. How was 
it he managed to escape } " 



104 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

" Why — ye see-^your honour, they put an ashen 
sti'etcher athwart over his arms, and in between 
his knees — lashed taut, as I understand, so that 
when they come to give him headway over the 
hill, the stick took the ground at every tum ; by 
the matter o' which ye see, he fought shy o' 
monkey's allowance, more kicks than coppers. 
Well, on he went right enough fifteen knots on a 
baw line, till he made the bottom o' the hill, when 
just as he thought it was quite dicky with him, 
he brought up all standing in a thickset hedge o' 
black-thorn that hung over the road. Well, your 
honour, there he be stuck luckily enough head 
uppermost, hailing and squalling to every chap 
that went by below ; and two or three passed him 
a^ I understand, but they all took him for a hob- 
goblin sort o' concam, so he had to caulk it out there 
till morning, 'fraid to move for fear of coming dowti 
by the run. Teach the braw Scotch ganger to keep 
his eye-teeth about him for the time to come, ' for,' 
says he, what with the thorns below, and the cauld 
air aboon, it was a situation no that canny to fill ! ' " 
" And so he has actually escaped unhurt ? " 
^" ' Hurt ! ' oh nothing to signify, your honour ; 
though, to be sure, he's got his figure-head scoured 
up a bit ; but then his neighbours hold out that 



A TALE OF THE WAR, 105 

he's had that for the last feefteen years, ever since 
he was 'noculated by the small pox; wliile he 
swears lustily 'twas all done by the fuzz bushes 
coming down over the hiU. I've a heard o' a 
fellow," added Tai-pauhne in a hah* musing man- 
ner, " being roUed down over Deal beach afore 
he was quite dry, and the shingle sticking into 
his fissiogamy, but this yam o' Dugald Mac Me- 
teit is a reg'lar clincker ! Howsoever, the boys 
have christened the place ' The ganger's loup,' 
and so it will be called, I dare say, long after 
fat httle Dugald's brought up in Deadman's 
Bay. — We'm all creatures of clay, your honour t^" 
and as Tim came to this sombre conclusion, he 
drew forth ' Sal,' and apphed that very respect- 
able lady to his lips, though not with the views 
which would have actuated such a suitor as his 
commander, since Tarpauhn would doubtless have 
derided the — to him — unmeaning pleasures of 
osculation. 

" ' Creatures of clay,' eh ? and so you drink to 
your morahty as if to confii*m its decrees." 

" Ah ! your honour, like other clay, we aU want 
moistening before we're fit for moulding. A fine 
breeze to-day, your honour ; I'm thinking — may- 

F 3 



10.6 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

be — that you'll be wanting to be off soon — we've 
made a long lay of it hei*e." 

" Yes, Tim, yes, IVe just been thinking so ; 
I sleep on board to-night, get ready to weigh, 
and make sail at daylight to-morrow morning," 
and with this brief command he hurriedly left 
his faithful dependant to hasten down the steps of 
the tower, towards a gate in the plantation where 
he had just descried the advancing form of Mar- 
garita. On arriving at the spot, however, Croiser 
found that she had gone back, and deploring his 
want of luck, he hastened along the road which 
he supposed she had pursued, with the purpose 
of overtaking her, little dreaming that he was 
leaving her behind at every step. 

Faithful to her sister, and it may be, somewhat 
inclined to chide her conscious heart for having 
entertained certain mental visions favourable to 
this sea-hero, who had occupied a prominent sta- 
tion in them, Margarita's glance had no sooner 
recognized his slight form standing beside the 
colossal bulk of Tim, than she quickly retraced her 
steps, and hiding in a little rustic summer-house 
near at hand, waited until his hasty and retiring steps 
warned her to slip out, and take a different track. 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 107 

" How silly and unguarded I must have been, 
since even my careless sister has seen that I have 
occasionally thought of him ; I hope it has escaped 
his own eyes! Not for worlds could I endure that 
he should know it. Henceforth I defy even the 
scrutiny of my own heart to chscera a repetition 
ofit!" Poor Margarita ! Though soliloquizing thus, 
and generously giving up to her versatile sister 
the only preference which the innocent warmth of 
her young bosom had ever engendered, she never- 
theless felt, despite of her arguments, no shght 
pang at the surrender. With regard to Charlotte's 
quick observation, she was deceived. WTiat eye, 
what penetration so quick, so searching as those 
of a rival? But as it happened, Charlotte had 
gathered her ideas on the subject rather from the 
attention of Croiser to Margarita, than the reverse ; 
but this fact she was of course too much of a wo- 
man to acknowledge. 

WTien Croiser at the breakfast-table announced 
his determination of sailing by simrise on the en- 
suing day, great was the surprise manifested, and 
no httle lamentation, since his spirited yet docile 
and attractive manners had insensibly attached 
everv one to him. Xor was this feeling of regret 



108 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

unfelt even by the most insensible animals — to wit, 
the cat — the dog — Captain Bombast — and Major 
PufF; the latter of whom mumbled to his worthy 
brother traveller-^-" Haven't met with a more in- 
telligent young man since I parted with Ensign 
Huggins, whose society I had the bitter misfor- 
tune to lose when 1 was abroad at Cork." 

" Very true ! very true ! " drawled the captain. 
" as my father w^ould say, a most superior young 
man, just what that young chief would have been 
had he but had the advantage of a little more civil- 
ization — I mean young Hatchee-Matchee Mad- 
derhead, you know, a prince of the Longbow 
Islands!" 

It was to little purpose that Charlotte used all 
her oratory to persuade him to delay his depai'ture. 
There were a thousand sights unseen and plea- 
sures unexperienced. But alas ! so they were 
likely to remain. I know not whether his resolu- 
tion might not have been thawed before the gentle 
breath of Margarita, but as she forbore to put it to 
the trial, he was saved the pain of a refusal, and 
Charlotte the mortification which a contrary course 
would have created. Even the Port Admiral him- 
self, while gently tapping Croiser on the shoulder. 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 10© 

as his noble and venerable figure leaned forward 
to the " ha, ha, ha ! " wliich concluded one of his 
best stories, even he seemed surprised and af- 
fected, to say nothing of losing so admirable a 
listener, — though this office was a real pleasure^ — 
and assured him ^' he should be dehghted to give 
him snug stowage and a berth in his mess — ay, by 
the mast, as long as ever he'd chose to hang out — 
though it should be till all's blue. Well, well, if ye 
can't, ye can't, ye see," he added, on Croiser's polite 
and gratefiil refusal, " and that's all that's about it ; 
but may be you'll be putting in here again some 
odd day or another; or may want a port in a 
storm suddenly, and if that should fall out, and you 
don't bear up for old Dick Salisbury, hang me if 
I don't call ye a Frenchman! There's Chatty 
ready any day to have a romp with you ; Margiee 
will sing ye a song, and eveiy man-jack of us be 
right glad to give you a jolly welcome ! And now 
I must say by bye, and God bless you— so fare- 
well, my heai-ty, since I have to hurry over to the 
other side of the water and see about some rascally 
court-martial of that cursed little snivelling son of 
a hound Commodore Wheezey: he's always up to 
these fireaks or worse. I wish some one would 



110 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

have the spirit to tailpipe the httle rascal so that 
he might dash his thick head against the next 
lamp -post*. He'd try me I believe, if he could, 
if it was'nt for one thing — that I Avon't let him." 

Dinner passed without Sir Richard's return, 
and Croiser proposed to take their usual walk in 
the private gardens, where, with few interruptions 
since his arrival, he had been accustomed to pass 
many happy hours with the lovely twins. 

The more urgent details of this my history, kind 
Reader, which have prevented my noticing this 
mode of passing their time before, compel me to 
defer to another opportunity any description of 
these truly beautiful retreats, further than such as 
is absolutely necessary for thy present compre- 
hension. You, dear Reader, are already aware 
that on descending from the northern or main en- 
trance, the eye beheld on either side a double row 
of oak and elm trees, fonning the grand avenue. 
Said Reader, I take it, is also aware that the ave- 
nue was terminated on either side by a turreted 
lodge and gate ; that on the left hand being the 

* This wish of Sir Richard's was nearly accomplishedj since 
the Commodore was subsequently stabbed, but unfortunately he 
recovered from the wound. 



A TALE OF THE WAR. Ill 

carriage gate from without, that on the right hand 
being the entrance to the private gardens ; the walls 
of which extended towards the house in a parallel 
with and at a Httle distance from the right hand 
or eastern row of the aforesaid avenue, by the 
termination of which a vista was opened to the 
eye, displaying the blue calm surface of Bam 
Pool. 

Here, as the atrocious reader will also call to 
mind, was the private place of embarkation, its 
smooth and level strand occasionally serving to 
run out the bathing machine now laid up beneath 
the shade of an adjoining cork tree or ilex, the 
whilk I do not pretend at this present writing to re- 
member with that degree of precision for which 
we naval officers are so pre-eminently noted. 
At the end of these gardens nearest the house, 
a high wall gave way to one of less dimensions, sur- 
rounded by a raihng and circumvallated by a fosse, 
over which was a small bridge leading to a private 
entree reserved especially for the family, in con- 
tradistinction to the lower one at the lodge, through 
which came the visitors from the neighbouring 
towns. 

Towards this door advanced our trio, as the 



112 THE POET ADMIRAL, 

rich evening sun threw his expiring gleams along 
the sky, gilding the extreme fohage of the sum- 
mits of the high trees beneath which they 
passed, and leaving the space below in that 
hallowed gloom so sacred to the heart. The chat- 
tering chough as it passed, gladdened itself in the 
genial ray that tipped its plumage, and uttered 
a shrill note of joy that broke the holy stillness 
of the spot, where the whispering leaves had 
kissed into silence the breeze of day, and now 
seemed hushed in the repose of nature. The soft 
grass was scarcely heard to rustle beneath their 
light footsteps. But sound and Charlotte were 
ever friends, and scarcely had Croiser unlocked 
the little gate and entered the covered way of 
trelhs-work matted with clematis and jasmine 
leading to the recesses of the garden, than her 
loud and joyous laugh awoke the echoes of the 
wood, and roused a hundi'ed di'owsy jackdaws, 
now circling aloft in rapid flight and imparting 
to each other in their peculiar but not unpleasant 
cry, the groundless terror of the moment. 

The first garden into which they entered, was 
laid out in the English style. On their emerging 
from the covered way before mentioned, they found 



A TALE OP THE WAR. 113 

themselves under a gigantic cedar tree. It had 
already numbered fifty years in its present site, 
and beneath its dark and horizontal aims was a 
tablet announcing it to be " Cowper's seat," and 
inscribed with an appropriate quotation from the 
poet. Opposite to this stood a small but chastely- 
designed pavihon containing two rooms with mu- 
sical instruments and books. Immediately before 
Cowper's seat was a fine Portuguese lam-el, the 
overpowering perftime from the flowers of which 
might be discovered at a considerable distance on 
the water when the breeze wafted its precious 
fragrance along Bam Pool, and even obliged our 
fail* friends to rise from the bench where they had 
at first seated themselves, and retire beyond its 
more immediate neighbourhood. 

" Come," said the restless Charlotte starting 
up the first, " let us all race off to the Fr^ich 
garden, and the one who arrives in the pavilion 
the first, shall receive a pair of gloves from the 
other two." 

" Do excuse me, dear sister ! " 

" No, Mai'giee, I will not ! Captain Croiser, help 
me to get her up, this horrible laurel will kill 
me. Now, then, are you ready } " and away they 



114 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

bounded, Croiser following close to Charlotte, 
while Margarita ceased her attempt at running on 
the instant that the other two were out of sight. 
With a melancholy feeling which the hour in- 
spired, she sauntered onwards, and j)lucking one 
of the many splendid flowers of the magnolia 
growing close at hand, inhaled its dehcious per- 
fume and mused on the transitory character ol' 
happiness. 

" I have no heart to mingle in these romps of 
my gay sister," so ran her thoughts, " and yet 
why is it ? I think I have felt a change in my 
disposition and feelings within the last month. 
But a short period since, these things were not in- 
different, if they did not absolutely please me — 
now, they are repugnant- Such are the changes 
which mark our approach to womanhood ; and it 
were unreasonable to expect we should enjoy 
the simplicity and happiness of our girlhood for 
ever ! " 

The path suddenly terminating, she found her- 
self on the terrace belonging to the battery that 
overhung the sea, forming the left side of the 
entrance into the harbour, while the Devil's point 
opposite formed the other. In her reveries she 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 115 

had missed the route, which would have led her 
to the proposed rendezvous, and now feeling in- 
clined to be alone, she determined to enjoy the 
extreme fineness of the evening, and, by returning 
through a more circuitous walk, give to the other 
two a longer space of time for their tete-a-tete, 
which in the present state of Charlotte's feeling 
would, she rightly conjectured, be far from dis- 
pleasing to that fair damsel. 

Little did she dream, when speculating on the 
passing days of girlhood, that those tranquil feel- 
ings had quitted her bosom for ever, and that 
her emotions had received an impulse as novel 
as it was indefinable; an impulse on the ulti- 
mate result of which, the happiness or misery of 
such a gentle being was entirely to depend. 

As she looked upon the ocean before her, she 
beheld it unruffled by the slightest breath. A 
thin dim haze seemed to float above its poHshed 
surface, in the strong and darkening mirror of 
which every ti'ee was visible. A gentle murmur- 
ing was heard as it met the surrounding shores, 
and here and there might be seen the circling 
but silent eddies, caused by the high tide that 
was just ceasing to flow into the harbour, whose 



116 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

full waters checked the flagging motion of the 
mightier current. 

The dying ephemera, too, that had sported their 
brief existence since sunrise, were seen occasioa- 
aJly to fall upon the waters, then instantly dim- 
pled by the rising of the piscine race, whose 
prey they became. The hum of the distant city 
rose upon the air, and undulating over the silent 
tides, fell like a charm upon the spirits. Marga- 
rita lifted her eyes from this entrancing view 
where every form of earth appeared to have a 
fellow-image min'ored in the deep, and beheld the 
la^t red gleam of the sun kiss the extreme point 
of Staddon heights, and then soar away into the 
far East, lost to sight except where it gilded for a 
few brief moments the rugged points of some 
fleecy cloud floating in the distant horizon. Then 
as the luminary itself gradually declined in the 
west, those aureant hues, waned to a fiery red, as- 
sumed a purplish tint — resolved themselves into a 
still darker and more neutral colour, and finally 
dispersed over the face of the heavens. Gradually 
the gloom increased, and with it the dark glaze 
which forms the bewitching varnish of these pic- 
tures of nature. Too quickly did this fade under 



A TALE OF THE VTAV.. IIT 

the gathering dimness of night. The high land 
of Staddon seemed to loom stupendously vast in 
the distance, throwing the deep broad shadow on 
the waters beneath — when suddenly a yellow glare 
appeared behind them — it rose — it increased. 
Sarely it is some conflagration — it is — it must be ! 
No ! it is the moon — swathed in the falling mists 
of day — her purple robes of majesty. She rose to 
assert her dominion in the firmament, and shot 
her trembling rays upon the ocean witli all the timi- 
dity of a youthful and virgin queen. By degrees 
they became stronger and bolder as her disc emerged 
— her lower segment cleared the mountain and she 
poured forth her full effulgence upon the lovely 
scene ; while her bright reflection gradually stole 
along the whispering tide till it seemed to lip 
the shore at the feet of the entranced beholder. 
Gradually the spell dissolved which had chained 
Margarita to the spot till now : sigh followed sigh, 
intuitively, fl-om her innocent bosom, at the as- 
sociation which such a solemn scene called up in 
one so naturally meditative as herself, and then 
she turned away to join her sister and Croiser. 

Passmg along by the battery, and turning to the 
left through a walk wliich commanded a view of 
the inner harbour, she paused for a few moments 



118 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

in the little temple dedicated to the Poet of the 
Seasons, and having admired this fresh view of the 
crowded haven, proceeded through the Itahan 
garden, so named from the style in which it was 
laid out, where the first object that she encounter- 
ed was the old gardener, Jamie Maxwell, busily 
engaged in tending his favourite flowers ; his 
lean and decrepid figure bent beneath the weight 
of a large watering pot, until his natural tendency to 
grow double appeared increased to a ludicrous ex- 
treme. 

Indeed no part of his person was likely to in- 
spire much respect, for wasted to a mere skeleton, 
and displaying on his shrivelled features the discon- 
tent which old age and disease had engendered, he 
moved the embodied semblance of querulous seni- 
lity. Yet there was something about ' Douce 
Jamie Maxwell,' as he called himself, which when 
once you knew him, was most amusing. His 
shrewd Northern sagacity, his attachment to the 
land from which he was a wanderer, and many 
other little traits, made up for the specks in his 
character. His dress consisted of a light blue coat 
with steel buttons, and he wore a little brown 
scratch wig. 

" Gude e'en to ye, my Leddy Margaret, gude 



A TALE OF THE WAE. 119 

e'en tVe ! Ye'll be coming to me now for a bit 
posie, and it's vera welcome ye are. — Here's a 
bonny twig o' the limmon tree and it's covered 
wi' the blossom ; and here's a fine " 

" Tliank you, James, thank you ! I'll take your 
flowers, they are beautiful, but 1 merely came 
through on my road to the French garden. My 
sister Charlotte and Captain Croiser are there, 
are they not, Jamie ?" 

" I dinna exactly ken, my Leddy, but it is pos- 
sible they'll be there as ye say." 

" Thank you, Jamie." 

" Ay, aye," as she moved off, " it's thank ye, 
thank ye, now, but de'il the word mair sin' this dark 
brow'd chiel's cam amang us. For my part, I'm 
thinking he's Hke to drive thae lasses clean daft with 
his clishmaclavers. They've no a single thought 
for Douce Jamie Maxwell, now," and he peevishly 
returned to his foiTuer occupation; while Margarita, 
after pursuing her way among sundr}' green al- 
leys, passed through a complete arch of evergreens 
and found herself in the French gai'den. 

Its form was nearly square, the whole space 
being enclosed with perj^endicular walls of some 
eighteen or twenty feet high, composed entirely of 



120 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

the clipped branches of the ilex, winter laurel, and 
other rarer trees whose foliage, unimpaired by any 
severities of season, aflforded a continued rehef to 
the eye throughout the year. The flower-beds, 
which were surrounded and intersected by walks, 
fonned a square plot, where » rose-trees, clematis, 
and jasmine were, by the aid of trellis- work, made 
to grow in an uninterrupted festoon of flowers 
from bed to bed, arching over the entrance of the 
four little alleys leading to the centre of the 
garden, where played a rustic fountain ; its falling 
waters flowing over several superb Indian shells, 
and returning into the surrounding well, through 
the tiny billows of which ghttered the purple and 
golden hues of sundry little fishes, doomed to a 
blissful captivity. 

Around the edges of this well grew the Nympha 
Alba, spreading its broad leaf and snowy flower on 
the surface, the latter folding itself up into a beauti- 
fully shaped cup as the hour of evening drew nigh. 
Two very fine trees of the magnolia were seen in 
full bloom near the bottom of the garden, and their 
rich odours mingling with the hundi'ed other 
scents with which the air came loaded, and cooled 
by the falling spray of the fountain, seemed like 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 121 

the breath of Paradise. While this enchanted spot 
refreshed the senses, it elevated the soul above the 
jarring world without, and gave no faint concep- 
tion of the intellectual pride and delight, with 
which our first parents must have trod their 
bowers of bhss. 

At the head of this dehghtful little spot stood a 
pavihon, containing, like that in the English 
garden, two rooms. They were fitted up with 
books, and containing those instruments of music 
which the fair goddesses of these sacred haunts 
loved to wake to harmony. In the centre hall of 
this pa^^lion was a beautiful statue of !Meleager, 
while two mirrors being placed behind, seemed to 
form an endless vista, and reflected back the images 
of every thing within the garden, as well as of those 
who passed by a little opening on the opposite 
side, which penetrated through several of the walks 
beyond. 

" Surely," some of my readers will exclaim, "into 
such a retreat as this, no heart could enter without 
sharing the happiness which such a scene dif- 
fiised." Alas ! that fabulous deity is neither of chme, 
country', or degree, and the only slnrine in which 
she is ever to be foimd is a contented heart ! 

VOL. II. G 



122 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

" Is that you, Margarita ?" demanded Charlotte, 
as she heard the hght footsteps of her sister ; then 
on seeing her figure, " What an age jou have 
been ! A perfect snail in your pace, I declai*e ! Re- 
member, Madam, that you owe me a pair of gloves, 
and since you have made your appearance at last, 
sit down and sing to us. Here is your harp, I have 
just succeeded in reducing it to something like 
tune." 

" Nay, then, Charlotte, you had better indulge 
us by singing yourself !" 

" No, no. I must have m}- request. I feel lazy 
this evening, and you sing better, and I like your 
voice better; besides, I have been piping already 
— * so sit, good cousin.'" 

Here Croiser joined in the request, and seating 
herself by her sister's side on the sofa, Croiser 
being on the other, she prepared to comply with 
their request. One half of the window before 
them was thrown up, so that they could just 
perceive through the clambering foliage of the 
passion-flower, the play of the fountain as it rose 
sparkling in the dim twilight, then fell swerving 
on one side to the occasional current of the air, 
and refreshingly moistening the sun'ounding flow- 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 123 

ers. From the room in which they were sitting, 
also, an open door led into a large conservatory, 
the warm odours of whose exotics mixed with the 
many native scents without. 

" Now none of your doleful ditties, Margiee, 
for I see that you're looking very romantically in- 
clined, but pray give us something cheerful: for 
instance *Love a Maying.'" 

" Nay Charlotte, if you will have a song, it 
must be one of my own : you are the best minstrel 
for your peculiar music !" Pausing for a moment 
as her taper fingers swept along the harpsichord, 
she seemed to wait the moment of inspiration. 
The scene she had just witnessed on the terrace 
was yet floating on her imagination, as she ac- 
companied a deep yet tender melody with her 
voice. 

She had not proceeded with many lines before 
" Holloa, Margiee! Beshi'ew me, but that's a 
regular-built psdm ! " was heard in the hearty 
accents of the old Port Admiral, who having 
strolled into the garden, on his return fi-om 
the town, where his official residence was si- 
tuated, had listened with his usual delight to 
the music of his daughter's voice, and now looked 
in on the party. 

G 2 



124 THE 1*0 RT ADMIRAL, 

" Yes, dear Bunting," replied Chatty, " I told 
her not to give us any of these doleful dumps; 
but she is such an obstinate girl, she cares nothing 
lor the commands of her elder sister. Come in, 
and bring her to order. " 

"No faith! not I — I'm dodging along here to 
get a mouthM of fresh air and pick one or two of 
the pretty flowers; besides old Ben Bucket and 
his family are just anived at the house, and so I 
must go up and fetch down lovely Lady Anne." 

" Oh Bunting, you abominable flirt! I'll tell 
her husband the Admiral ! I declare you are almost 
as bad as myself." 

The Port Admiral made no reply to this sally of 
his daughter Chatty, save by a " Ha-ha-ha, you 
httle vixen ! " and he proceeded, as Charlotte said, 
to enjoy a little innocent flirtation with the young 
wife of his old messmate. Sir Benjamin Buckhardt, 
over whom he had the advantage, no less in his 
handsome person than in the gallant bearing of his 
manners and address, which only gave way to the 
convivial kindness of his heart within the sacred 
circle of his intimates. 

"' Margiee, I wish you would not sing such 
monstrous dismal airs, they make me as melan- 
cholv as" 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 125 

" Well, Charlotte, what can I do ? You ^ill not sing 
yourself, and cannot expect the tones of a trumpet 
from the slight chords of a lute — besides, have we 
not reason now and then to be touched with 
melancholy, when we give ourselves time for 
reflection? Mere children of the moment ! Even 
that beautiful aloe plant," — pointing to one 
placed outside the window, — " which is perhaps 
destined to outlive us all, might well excite those 
emotions which you contemn." 

There was a pause — the gloom, the hour, seemed 
to fall with a bewdtching and softening influence 
over them all. Even Charlotte was silent, and 
resigned herself to the feeling that stole over her, 
as she gently leaned against the shoulder of him 
who had so suddenly become dear to her. With 
such a restless disposition even this short quietus 
could not endure long. Suddenly starting up, 
she said, " Since none of you will indulge in a 
livelier strain, I must ; but I prefer another instru- 
ment," taking down a guitar. " Gaiety is the 
natural emotion of these chords; however sorrow 
and sublimity may belong to the prouder harp." 

" Well, I rejoice at your determination to con- 
test the palm with your sister. I will be the 
umpire between both parties." 



126 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

" So you shall, as far as relates to the matter, 
but not to the music, since there I should be 
striving hopelessly. These stringed instruments 
require such a tedious process of tuning — now we 
will try," and Charlotte dashed off into a lively 
canzonetta as opposed to the song of her sister 
both in sentiment and metre as it was possible to 
be. 

"Now then. Sir Umpire, decide!" said the 
charming siren on its conclusion. 

"Why my fair Minstrel," said the captain, " since 
both performances have been in song, my deci- 
sion ought at least to be conveyed in the same 
delightful vehicle. Meanwhile as both your themes 
are equally to the point, you must allow me to defer 
my opinion until that time arrives." 

" Why, I thought you never sang ! At least I 
have asked you five hundred times, and surely 
you never would have refused my request so often, 
unless you could not comply with it ! " 

" Nor have I now said any thing that should 
induce a contrary belief — however, I should be 
most happy to become your pupil, if you will 
undertake such a task ; and to prove how ready 
a scholar I intend to be, let me take my first 
lesson at once." 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 1*27 

" Come then take the instniinent and place your 
left hand thus — Yes, that's coiTect, — and your right 
hand here — verj^-good. Now then strike these six 
strings successively. Why good Powers ! — What ! 
— is it possible ! " — and to the infinite surprise of 
his fair instructress and hearer, Croiser's fingers 
threaded those chords with all the swiftness and 
execution of an experienced musician. 

After an inter^'al of a few seconds, and before 
his listeners had recovered their astonishment suf- 
ficiently to speak, his prelude subsided into a low 
and tender accompaniment, to which, with a 
manly but clear and flexible voice, he sang the 
following words, in allusion to the preceding chants 
of his chaiming companions : — 

Nay, speak not of the bliss of man ! 

The brief enjo^Tnents given, 
Bespangled o'er his tortured span, 

Or known on this side Heaven ! 

Too true, yon plant of culture rare 

Returning bloom denies, 
Rear'd through an age of toil and care, 

Once blown, it droops and dies ! 

So pines the heart o'er vanished days 

Of childhood's hopes and fears ; 
One golden hour of youth repays 

An age of baffled years. 



128 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

When midnight lends her sacred veil 

To hide the mourner's woe, 
Nor slumber hears the stifled wail, 

Nor marks the tears which flow. 

The fated fire that inly preys 

On this devoted breast, 
Consumes to care its sufi''rer's days, 

And cankers all my rest. 

For I must on to meet each grief 

In store with coming time, 
Nor stay these fleeting joys, too brief 

To save my soul from crime ! 

Too like the fabled bark which bore 

A self-destroying freight, 
And madly urged to that dark shore> 

Found ruin linked with fate ! 

This is no fancied phantom gi'ief. 

Oh would it were not so ! 
The humblest lot that brought relief. 

Should take such gilded woe ! 

There was a pause. The feeling of surprise 
which both the sisters had manifested at the be- 
ginning, was swallowed up in the sad expression 
which Croiser's words had made. The extreme 
pathos with which they had been sung, and the 
evident earnestness of the heart which felt the 
sorrows thus uttered, together with the simple and 
plaintive air, had indeed affected them with sym- 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 129 

pathy; and while they mutely pondered over the 
mysteiy attached to their interesting guest, they 
had entirely forgotten to thaaik him for his strain. 
" How shameful of you never to have sung 
before this evening — the last of our seeing you 
too!" 

" * Cygnus niger ante suam mortem canet,' as 
Lady Sapphira would say." 

" Oh spare us her odious Latin ! And is this 
the way you decide as umpire ? " 

" Yes," replied Margarita, " by surpassing both 
competitors." 

" Nay — " but here Croiser's disclaimer was in- 
terrupted by the entrance of the Port Admiral with 
Lady Buckhardt on his arm; and the various 
salutations having passed, they all walked to- 
wai'ds the terrace to enjoy the beauties of the 
night. 

The hour of supper being passed, Croiser watch- 
ing his opportunity, led Margarita aside to one of 
the window recesses, and took his leave. In that 
sad parting, which he had steadily resolved should 
be forever, little indeed was said. The slight com- 
pliment which he wished to pay to her, had es- 
caped him — he faltered, stammered, and incohe- 

G 3 



130 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

rently uttered a few sentences, the import of which 
it was impossible to understand. Nor was Mar- 
garita more at ease, since the assumed coldness 
of her manner was evidently struggling with the 
more natural emotions of her heart. 

To his assertion that this would be the last 
meeting of their lives, she could only reply " Not 
so I hope ! " Nor when he pressed her hand to his 
lips could she attempt to withdraw it. On finding- 
out Charlotte, to pay his best respects to her, she 
proposed to Margarita to walk down and see him 
embark from Barn Pool. To propose and to exe- 
cute were with her the same; and as Croiser 
stepped into his light gig, and was swiftly rowed 
to his little vessel, he beheld the commanding 
figures of his fair young friends melt into the dis- 
tance, until the wave of their handkerchiefs was 
no longer visible, and at length every trace of 
them had disappeared. Flinging himself on the 
taffrail, he vainly endeavoured, by the aid of his 
glass, to discover their retreating figm-es. For an 
hour he remained motionless, until a sudden light, 
visible through the trees, in that quarter of the 
building where theii a]iartment was situated, an- 
nounced their retirement to rest. 



A TALE OF THE T\AR. 131 

He had then indeed torn himself from them ! 
and when the morrow's sun arose, he should nei- 
ther behold the loveliness of her he loved, nor 
hang upon the magic of her voice ! For a few 
seconds he repented of the step he had taken, 
and felt tempted to renounce that duty which 
drew him away. Then arose those doubts and 
fears, griefs and upbraidings, with the hundred 
passions that are so inexplicably interwoven in 
that strange portion of our mysteiy — the love of 
youth. 



132 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 



CHAPTER VI. 

" The storm was succeeded by a calm, but it was a question 
if they were bettered by the change." 

WAVEELEY ANECDOTES. 

The morning after Croiser's departure, curiosity 
could no longer refrain, and Captain Bombast and 
Major PufF began to indulge in their various con- 
jectures, instigated by that slanderous and gossip- 
ing propensity which prompts low natures to 
malign the absent. Being quickly silenced by the 
wit of Charlotte, as well as the more dignified 
censure of Margarita, they appealed to the Port 
Admiral as to whether his knowledge of Captain 
Croiser would not confirm their suspicions. Much 
to their discomfiture however. Sir Richard pro- 
tested that he held his late guest in the highest 
consideration, and therefore having found out that 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 133 

he was unconnected with the navy, he had forborne 
from pr}dng into his affairs ; and furthermore, since 
these were his opinions, he begged that he might 
never hear Captain Croiser mentioned but with 
respect. 

A week had elapsed since Croiser's departiire, 
and Chai'lotte's repeated wonderings of " when he 
would come back," her hauntings of his favourite 
walks, and musings on the sea from the old tower, 
wei'e already beginning to wax fainter, when she 
determined to foiTQ a party of pleasure to visit the 
" Mew-stone," a large ragged rock, situated on 
the opposite side of the Sound. 

The day was appointed ; it arrived; Sir Richard 
descried through its appai*ent fineness some few 
suspicious appearances, but with Charlotte these 
went for nought. The flag-ship's launch, fitted up 
as a tender or yacht for the Admiral, made its 
appearance in Bam Pool at 10 a. m. ; when the 
lieutenant in command went up to the house 
to announce his being in waiting. The party 
descended, but Charlotte, predetermined on one of 
her usual freaks, contrived to have the j^rovisions 
left behind, in order to enjoy the disappointment 
of the party on their arriving at the rock. Cap- 



134 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

taiB Bombast had also some manoeuvres to put in 
practice, by which he succeeded in leaving the 
lieutenant of the boat behind, thereby gaining the 
command himself. The party consisted of Lady 
Sapphira and her brother the Reverend Nathaniel, 
together with Bombast, Puff, Charlotte, and Mar- 
garita ; the boat being manned by six men and a cox- 
swain. They had not proceeded far, when some sub- 
ject afforded an opportunity for the usual altercation 
between Lady Sapphira and Nathaniel ; Bombast 
and Puff taking part with the lady, and Charlotte 
diverting herself at their general expense. In the 
meantime Margarita indulged in that pensive me- 
ditation to which she was now more than ever 
given. As her soft eye dreamingly surveyed the 
vaiied expanse before her, she beheld the mist, 
hitherto only discernible in the horizon, gradually 
spread along the sky, and borne rapidly by the 
wind, unroll itself from the distant mountains of 
Dartmoor, until it completely enveloped the low 
town of Plymouth, now no longer visible in the 
little nook through which the Plym ^mpties itself 
into the waters of the Sound. Soon the vapour 
was seen to extend towards the town of Dock 
and the harbour of Hamoaze, while, wherever 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 136 

it rested, its impenetrable veil defied the eye to 
discern the objects beneath. 

Turning from so comfortless a view towai'ds the 
Mewstone itself, she beheld it rearing its bleak 
and rugged head to heaven, black with the storms 
of unknown centuries, distant some two miles 
inland of them, on their weather bow. Mean- 
while the sailors who had come fi:om the flagship, 
missing tlieir own oflicer, and finding tliemselves 
under the command of a mean-looking man in 
plain clothes, felt their usual repugnance to 
obey the orders of a stranger, increased by the 
evident unfitness and inattention which he be- 
trayed. The whole distance of the Mewstone, 
fi'om the point of starting, was at the most eight 
miles, and had he only steered properly at the 
outset, he could not have failed to reach it, 
wherea.s he had kept so much away fi'om the 
wind, that having already gone over a space equal 
to the whole distance, a sudden change of breeze 
now left him neai'ly dead to leeward of it. 

The coxswain inmiediately took the command out 
of Bombast's hand, and ever}- effort was made to 
gain their destination, but as the breeze was by 
this time blowing very fireshly fi-om the shore, it 



136 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

was found to be attended with too much dif- 
ficulty, and after a short consultation the at- 
tempt was given up, and the boat's head put about 
to return home. Fate, however, seemed to have 
set her face against them. The wind rose ra- 
pidly, the lowering appearance of the heavens 
increased with every passing moment. Scarcely 
had they time to take precautionary measures, 
when the squall expended all its fury upon them. 
They had no need to reef their sails, for these 
were shivered into strips, while this sudden gust 
was accompanied by a thick mist which not only 
hid every object from their sight, but combined 
with the passing drifts of spray to wet our plea- 
sure party to the skin. The latter inconvenience 
was however unnoticed amid the more imminent 
dangers which threatened their lives. 

Their boat, which was of the ordinary size of a 
small open pleasure-boat, was partly decked over. 
This however extended but a few feet fi-om the bow 
of the vessel, and the httle space beneath was merely 
intended to shelter a suit of spare sails, a coil or 
two of rope, a hawser, and some fishing-hnes ; 
the remainder of the boat was open. A deck 
below protected the feet from any water that 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 137 

might find its way through a leak, while the 
caq^et, mahogany panels, and seats, bespoke the 
care and attention paid by his majesty's dock-yard 
to the Port Admiral. A washboard ran round the 
gunwale to keep the deck as dry as possible, and 
for the stUl further convenience of its passengers, 
a second gunwale or washboard surrounded the 
space denominated the stem sheets, which here 
includes that part of the boat left uncovered by 
the cuddy. As this space did not extend on either 
side to the bulwark, room was still left between 
the outer and inner washboards for a seaman to 
walk aft to the mizen. 

The value of such a protection now became 
fiilly apparent, for as the storm increased, the 
waves occasionally broke on the bow of their little 
vessel and flooded her deck, witliout further in- 
commoding the party than by the spray ; while 
the water that would otherwise have required 
pumping out, had time to run off through the 
little scuppers or apertmes made for that pur- 
pose. The tempest soon became frightful; and 
if the \\dnd itself did not exceed its first burst of 
violence, the swell had either risen considerably, 
or they had diifted out into the middle of the 



138 

Channel, where its fiu-y was greater ; perhaps both. 
To the eyes of the terrified ladies, utterly unac- 
customed to behold such a scene, each vast and 
bubbling mass of water over which the boat now 
laboured, seemed to contain a thousand deaths ; 
while to the most experienced eye it appeared a 
problem whether their frail vessel could ride out so 
terrific a storm. In such a case it may easily be 
supposed that there were few deliberative voices, 
and Garnet having represented to them the inu- 
tility of trying to beat up against such a sea, 
they agreed to await the issue of the gale. 
The boat's head was then brought to the wind by 
means of a small buoy or raft flung out a-head, 
and Garnet proposed, as night drew near, that the 
ladies should be placed in the bottom of the boat, 
where the carpet was dry, and where being co- 
vered over by a sail, they would be protected 
from the spray, and might be enabled to get a 
little sleep. To this Charlotte and her aunt rea- 
dily agreed, but Margarita preferred to face the 
danger and indulge in her own thoughts ; she 
therefore remained at the side of her uncle watch- 
ing the rapid approach of night, and marking 
each variation in the storm that now raged around 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 139 

her in all its dread sublimity, prepared to meet the 
last extremity of our suffering natiu'e. 

Meanwhile the men, finding that the night was 
to be passed thus, crept grumbling and jesting 
into the fore cuddy, to stow themselves away in 
tlie best manner that they could. 

The first immediate risk being over, then' earliest 
thoughts natm-ally reverted to their provision. 
As for Charlotte, fi-om the first moment of their 
being driven off the land, she had been able to 
think of nothing else, but ha^'ing communicated 
her thoughtless fi*ohc to Margarita, the latter had 
strictly enjoined her not to mention the share she 
had in the affair, but allow it to pass off as a mis- 
take. The disapjDointment, — the consternation of 
the party at finding themselves without food, made 
them dumb, and they sat looking in one another's 
faces in silent dispau*, until Puff and Bombast 
mentioned that they had ordered the butler to send 
into the boat the remains of a pasty, the excel- 
lence of which they had proved at the breakfast- 
table — " but it was a mere fi*agment, and they be- 
lieved that there was a bottle of wine and one of 
brandy put into the basket." 

Charlotte felt as if reprieved firom a thousand 



140 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

deaths; the horrors of the scene faded from her 
eyes, and they were moistened with tears of un- 
feigned joy. The basket was produced and a part 
of its contents portioned out, and, if their sup- 
per was scanty, they had never eaten with better 
relish. 

It may easily be supposed, that to the eyes of a 
party so circumstanced, the approaches of sleep 
would be gladly welcomed; and accordingly by 
midnight every eye was closed. Margarita and 
her uncle had joined the others beneath the 
canoj)y, and she soon fell asleep in his arms, a 
resting-place familiar from her infancy. 

Garnet was the first to awake, just as day was 
beginning to glimmer in the east, and after rub- 
bing his eyes to recall the circumstances which 
placed him in his present situation, he looked out 
upon the waters, and to his astonishment beheld 
the umuffled polish of a min'or, where but a few 
hours since a tempest was sporting in all its 
horrific grandeur, and destruction seemed to be 
leaping as in joy among the mountains of foam 
which the troubled elements heaved up. 

It is true that a considerable swell remained, 
but not a breath was to be seen rippling the sur- 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 141 

face wherever the eye might turn. It appeared as 
if nature, tired out bv her own violence, had fallen 
to sleep with those who had thus been exposed 
to her fury. Satisfied that there was no danger 
to be apprehended at present, the seaman gave 
directions to the look-out to awaken him if any sail 
hove LQ sight, or any breeze should haj^pen to 
spring up, and then coiling himself down in the 
stem-sheets, he proceeded to make up for the 
anxiety of the preceding evening. 

At ten o'clock they began to awake one by one, 
each congratulating himself on the favourable 
change of weather, and rejoicing in the disap- 
pearance of the gale, that had so lately menaced 
them. Brilliantly did the present scene contrast 
with that of last night. The feiTid rays of the 
sun shot down upon the lio^uid blue over which 
they floated, and seemed to pierce to those far 
regions below, where Fancy delights to picture 
tlie court of the " Silver-footed Goddess." 

It is a sad but a serious truth, with all our 
imaginings and ^* longings after immortality," we 
always require to be fed— that is, to be in comfort, 
and th€se first emotions having passed from our 
fiiends in the boat, a strange and strongly peccant 



142 

feeling within, hinted that they had rested almost 
supperless on the evening before, and that they now 
required a double share for breakfast. The last, 
however, 

" Their lot forbade." 

Having brought to view the remains of their 
scanty provisions, it was divided into two por- 
tions, the largest was reserved for the evening, 
and the other distributed for an immediate meal. 

Never was anything edible discussed more ea- 
gerly, and the ceremony having been prolonged 
to its utmost possible extent, there was no one 
present that could not have disposed of four times 
the quantity. However, the day was fine, and 
sunshine alone can bid the heart to feel light ; 
besides, they were in momentary expectation of a 
breeze springing up to carry them in, and the appre- 
hensions of the preceding day had therefore entirely 
vanished. An hour passed, and no signs of a breeze 
appeared, when to divert the increasing tedium. Lady 
Sapphira proposed that they should each tell a story. 
The proposal was excellent, but when they came 
to the point, no one had a " regular good story" 
to tell. Several began one, but very sjoeedily 
breaking down again, discontinued them. In this 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 143 

dilemma, having much lamented the absence of 
the Port Admiral and his never-failing stock, they 
all sat musing and preparing to inflict on each 
other the result of their cogitation. 

" What a pity it is," said Bombast, " that I 
haven't my last book of travels with me, it would 
prove such a dehghtfid treat to us all — it is so 
admirably — a-hem — written 1 — with so much 
care ! for when I went out in my dear, dear old 
ship, which I can never recall without tears spiing- 
ing into my eyes, I took two tuns of ink in pun- 
cheon, and stowed my booms with quills to write 
my journal, which my friend ^lajor Puff has re- 
printed four or five times — that is, with a few in- 
terlinear different readings — in his invaluable peri- 
odical, ' The United Blunderbuss Journal.' — There 
I assure you, my Lady Sapphira, they form the 
very staple commodity — the very best articles in 
the work— eh Puff?" 

" Oh very possibly so. Captain — universally ad- 
mu'ed! I know when I was abroad at Cork — 
Indeed I think I've one of the numbers with me, 
I very seldom go abroad without one in my pocket ; 
there is so much wit and pathos contained in them ! 
Yes, how fortunate ! here is one," handing it to 



144 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

Nathaniel, who opened it at the end and found a 
table of the deaths in the Channel fleet. 

" Yes," said Nathaniel, " a great deal of pathos ! 

This, for instance — ' Returns for the year 17 , 

— ^killed by the Admiral's bullock — one.' Then 
for the next year, under the same head, ' Killed 
by the Admiral's bullock — none.'' " Not so bad. 
Major. And is the journal always as good as this 
number?" returning it to its wonderful editor, 
who replied, 

" Oh yes, sir, generally speaking — very seldom 
much inferior, though perchance a little now and 
then." 

" In — deed! never knew it!" slowly ejaculated 
Lady Sapphira. Dear me ! it must have cost you 
a great deal of labour and money to get it up." 

" Oh a great deal, my Lady — a vast deal, I as- 
sure you. Captain Bombast and myself are inde- 
fatigable at it. However, the most copious imagi- 
nations will become exhausted ; and as we never 
reprint Captain Bombast's travels and voyages 
oftener than once throughout every six numbers ; 
it does occasionally become necessary to employ 
an extra hand. A very clever man, Mr. Smug, he's 
our sub-editor, and pressman and compositor, and 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 145 

helps to black the types — a very good knack too of 
making the ink has Smug — oh he's a useful man ! — 
our complete factotum — thoroughly versed in naval 
matters too ! — seeing he once went through the fleet." 

" Truly, sir,"' said Nathaniel, " your's is a very 
superior journal, and possesses unusual claims 
upon public patronage." 

" Oh ver}^, sir! quite so, sir! I tell you, sir, 
'twas the admiration of every one when I was 
abroad in Ireland. Besides, bless ye, all the in- 
pensioners at Chelsea Hospital bestowed the very 
highest encomiums upon it, more especially those 
that were blind and deaf! Ah, Mr. Nathaniel, there's 
nothing like it, depend upon it! But what we 
chiefly shine in, sir, is our re\'iews ! Bless your 
heart, su*, we'll review the pubhcations of a whole 
month, perhaps two or three, in half a page!" 

'' Oh indeed! and you never give any critique 
longer than that r " 

" Oh yes, sir, possib]^^ so, sometimes. For 
instance, Captaiu Bombast and myself always 
protect the High Tory party. Indeed, sir, we're 
bound to do it on account of our connexions. 
Why bless you, sir, both of us are very inti- 
mately acquainted with the prime minister's under- 

VOL. II. H 



146 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

butler, and besides that, his head gi'oom is a very- 
especial crony of mine. This being the case, as 
I said before, we're bound to 'protect the High 
Tory party ; so when any particular work comes 
out on the democratic, or as those villains call it, 
on the liberal side, why then you see, we all think 
it incumbent upon us to make a dead set, that is, 
if the book as we say, has made any sensation : 
if not, you see it's wrong to draw down attention 
upon it. Well you see, if the book has made any 
noise, we sit down and write a long article slap 
upon it. Then we get hold of another review of 
it, to get an extract to quote, or perhaps bor- 
row one of the volumes out of a library, which 
saves us the trouble of reading it" 

" Or the expense of buying it ? " 

'' Oh no 1 it's not that, for if we read it, we 
misquote some passages, and pretend to misun- 
derstand others, until we have brought them to 
suit our own words, as we always write the best 
part of the review before we see the work, to 
prevent its biassing our impartiality. Then next 
we launch out into any other subject unconnected 
with the book before us, to swell it out to a pro- 
per length of ten pages, and conclude by desig- 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 147 

nating the author as a man bad enough for any 
thing, or worse, for what we know. If he's a low- 
bom man, we simply state the facts; if however 
we tliink he's a gentleman, we do pretty much 
the same, because it helps out the criticism ; only 
in the latter case we take the precaution of saying 
' we beheve — we should think — we suspect ' — and 
so on." 

"Indeed, Major Puff ! and so these criticisms 
are received with a great deal of eclat? '' 

" Oh very much so, su! because, you see, our 
readers are generally among that class of people 
who can never give aii opinion on any thing them- 
selves, and just take what we find it right to offer 
them. It's astonishing the few ideas foimd — " 

'* Among your readers ? " 

" Ah possibly so ! But even if that should be 
the case, and they should dare to think differently 
and the work should seU after that, I immediately 
write a letter to the editcr— that's myself, — and pre- 
tend that I know who the author is, and say that 
he's all that the editor said he was, or something 
more, if we can make it out. This done, instead 
of signing it, ' Major Puff,' I sign it ' A Xaval 
Officer;' and then oui' readers say ' Bless me, look 

H 2 



148 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

here's an impartial person, a third party come 
forward to coiTob orate ! ' Oh sir, I assure you 
there's no periodical going to be compared to the 
' Blunderbuss Journal.' We're up to all the ma- 
noeuvres of literary folks, high and low;— and, 
would you believe it? the whole affair is got up by 
myself, Captain Bombast, and Mr. Smug — not 
another writer! We write all the letters, all the 
reviews, reports — we write every thing, sir ! The 
higher flights of fancy we take out of the captain's 
log-book, mixing together a day out of one year, 
and a day out of another, to make a little variety ; 
and then his signature's so good always ! One month 
' An Officer of Rank ! ' then another, ' A Compa- 
nion of the Bath ! ' a third, * An Admiral of the 
Wliite!^ — a most incomparable writer — a'nt you 
Captain?" 

" Nay now. Puff, you really ought to make me 
blush ! though if the truth must be told, my father 
always said that 1 had a wonderful knack at getting 
up a good story out of wonderfully small materials . 
and this praise was confirmed even by the na- 
tives of the Longbow islands. In fact, — though 
to be sure I feel some bashfulness in relating it — 
one of the chiefs compared the flights of my ima- 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 149 

gination to the flight of an arrow from which the 
vile barb has been taken away." 

" As much as to say," interrupted Nathaniel, 
" that your productions were without point, and 
laid their claim to praise by possessing the stiff- 
ness of a stick, with the garnish of a goose's 
feather. As to your criticism, the only truth that 
can be gathered from your account is, that not 
one word of what you put forth is to be beheved." 

" Oh sir ! I beg your pardon. You mistake, sir. 
Now I'll let you into a secret by which you may 
tell the true character of any book from any review. 
Whenever you see a work excessively extolled by 
a particular reviewer, for instance such jargon as 
'out of sight the best book that has appeared 
for years,' &c. suspect that the critic has some 
interest at heart which dictates his praises. On 
the contrary, when you see a work excessively 
abused, without any extracts being brought for- 
ward sufficient to sustain the abuse, or any com- 
mendation being given to qualify it — more espe- 
cially when you see the words, ass, blockhead, fool, 
blackguai'd, tenns much in use with us critics now- 
a-days, introduced — then you may always conclude 
that there is some sterling stuff in the work reviewed, 



150 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

and ten to one but the reviewer himself, and perhaps 
some of his friends are touched up in it. The test 
of an impartial and tnie criticism is, that however 
high tlie praise, the faults— and the best produc- 
tions must have some — are not studiously hid, and 
vice versa, that however gi-eat the blame, the re- 
deeming qualities are not artfully kept back or dis- 
allowed. The dullest trash must somewhere possess 
these, and the only exception is the vicious book, 
and no good critic ever blamed the former with 
anger; or the last, except with the stem but cool 
reprobation of virtuous disgust. Therefore the cun- 
ning critic who is up to snuff, and wants to d^mn 
a book beyond all redemption, calls it vicious, 
though perhaps at the same time he knows that 
there's no more vice in it than there is in his father's 
pocket-book, and perhaps not half so much." 

We are told that even the devil himself can at 
times grace his conversation with texts from Scrip- 
ture, so even Puff in the present instance had 
spoken what was true and just; and other conver- 
sation succeeding, the hour arrived for their last 
meal. 

It requires no stretch of the imagination to con- 
ceive that the slight morsel thus afforded to people 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 151 

almost famishing from hunger, and but so lately 
in the possession of the strong appetites of health, 
was but a poor substitute for their usual food. 
The dinner, if such it might be called, passed 
quickly, and erening gradually closed in around 
them. Not the slightest zeph}T afforded its cool 
breath to fan the burning wave on which all the 
red glories of a dying sun were now gorgeously 
emblazoned. The swell had gradually subsided, 
their boat rolled gently along the crimsoned waters 
without any perceptible progress. The vault of 
heaven was cloudless, except in the west, where 
the thin filmy fleeces that waited on the departing 
luminary decomposed his rays, and formed the 
' dying dolphin'* of the sky. 

In hours such as these, when nature and her 
God so clearly assert their majesty, let our ills be 
what they may, they fade away and lessen before 
the contemplation of grandeur, over which man 
has control neither to diminish nor increase. The 
First Great Cause seems to use the scenes of beauty 
around us as a magnet by which our souls are 
abstracted from things of less attraction around, 
and drawn toward Himself, to partake in a slight 
* " Dies like a dolphin."— Childe ' Habold. 



152 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

degree of that immortality which is one of His 
greatest attributes. 

Situated as our unfortunate friends were, with 
hope expiring in their bosoms as each quick mo- 
ment winged its noiseless flight, it is scarcely to be 
wondered at, that they should view the scene with 
the most peculiar feehngs. The ordinary means 
of life were cut off" from them — a horrible and 
lingering death perhaps awaited them, and that 
close at hand. Besides these reflections there 
were others producing scarcely less pain in the 
breast of Charlotte, and more especially in that of 
Margarita. What would be the torturing suspense 
of the Port Admiral, knowing that their purpose 
was to have returned before sunset of the preced- 
ing day ? Perhaps he already mourned them as 
dead, and consigned as victims to the gale of 
yesterday, those dear relations over whom a fiir 
worse fate was impending. 

Little was said, until the purple disk of the sim 
had dipped its bm'ning circle in the western wave. 
Rapidly it sank, leaving a long train of light and 
glory in the skies, whose vividness and beauty 
waned as swiftly as the brightest or dearest of 
human visions. 



A TALE OF THE WAF. 153 

To increase their distresses, the seamen, em- 
boldened by the' absence of their proper officer, as 
well as by the incapacity aheady displayed by 
Bombast, began to murmur openly and shew signs 
of a mutinous disposition. On this the Manel- 
lous Captain attempted to reduce them to obedi- 
ence, but was openly laughed at, and Nathaniel 
seconding him, got into such a passion as made 
matters worse. In this emergency, Margarita 
interposed, and by her conciliating firmness and 
mild expostulation, pointed out to them the mad- 
ness of such a proceeding. 

Her arguments had considerable efiect upon the 
thoughtless men, who had murmured as much 
fi-om a want of consideration as any thing else, 
and then greatly influenced by persuasions com- 
ing from such a quarter, they gradually followed 
her advice ; some tried to amuse themselyes, and 
others went to sleep. In such a case as this, 
where the legal authority had been unluckily lost, 
or I ought rather to say surreptitiously usurped, it 
was only this sort of moral influence that could 
weigh wdth them. "\Mien death approaches, the 
sway of man oyer fellow man is lost ; the magic 
and cherished influence of woman doubled : oyer 

H 3 



154 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

the minds of sailors her reign is more complete than 
over the minds of any class of men existing. Of 
this Margarita was aware ; she acted upon it and 
gained her point, and fortunate it was that she 
was present, for to such an end, Charlotte was un- 
equal, and Lady Sapphira unfit. After contem- 
plating the extreme beauty of the night for some 
time, the sail was once more spread as an awning, 
and they prepared to go to sleep as on the pre- 
ceding evening. 

Every one was aware that in all probability their 
existence depended on a breeze springing up on 
the morrow, and for this blessing few slumbered 
that evening without breathing a fervent prayer. 
Often through that feverish night, did indivi- 
duals of the little party wake up, inquiring, " Is 
there any breeze yet?" " StiU dead calm!" was 
the soiTowful answer, when the expectant in- 
quirer having satisfied his own eyes, laid down 
his exhausted body, and tried to lull with sleep, 
a frame which vehemently craved for food. " Per- 
haps the breeze would spring up at midnight?" 
The last hour arrived, but the ocean slept fax 
more tranquilly than could those who watched 
ovei' it ! Then came those quick breathings of 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 155 

apprehension succeeded by an effort of Reason to 
regain her reins over the agitated mind, and recall 
Hope to her empire over their hearts. " Perhaps 
between twelve and four the desired change in the 
atmosphere might take place ? " Four came — and 
all was motionless as a calm could be. Light was 
dawning in the east — once more the lingering 
trembler caught at the faint probability that with 
the rise of the sun, the dull air might quicken 
into life. 

Slowly did that luminary beam upon the sunken 
eye, and commence its career of splendour, as if 
no one of its many million rays could light upon a 
single scene of wretchedness ! Not a ripple broke 
the lucid reflection of his resplendent image. 

" Well then, " said the watcher, " perhaps 
when he has gained a little height in his course ? 
I recoUect often to have seen a calm give way 
about eight o'clock." 

Eight — nine — ten — eleven — were the hours suc- 
cessively pointed out by the minute-hands on 
their watches; yet their parched hps and fainting 
frames were still as unrefteshed by the slightest 
wave of the air as on the preceding day, while the 
fervent heat of the sun beating on their heads, 



156 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

augmented their distress to a dreadful degree. It 
was now evident to all human appearance that 
the calm would continue throughout that day 
at least. 

" How are we to reach its close?" was the 
question asked of self by every sufferer. 

The night of apprehension and anxiety which 
they had past, the slight quantity of food that had 
afforded them its sustenance, all contributed to 
bring on a state of lassitude and faintness that 
was truly wretched to witness, while the contem- 
plation of the results to which it might lead, were 
still more horrible. Want and misery were pic- 
tured in the glances of all as they sat opposite 
to one another, each commiserating the hollow 
cheek, the frayed lip, and the fevered glow of eye 
in the countenances around. On what could they 
exist? There was nothing left saving a little 
brandy and one breaker of water, holding about 
nine gallons, as precious as any liquid could be, 
and to which the title of aqua vitce would then 
have been no misnomer. Yet what was this fo 
fourteen persons? Again, supposing that the 
breeze did spring up, could they fast that day 
and night and the succeeding hours necessary 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 157 

for their getting into Plymouth, and yet expect to 
sun-ive? The idea seemed hopeless, as was every 
other view of their situation: death was staring 
them in the face, and the most resigned prepared to 
meet it, while the others broke out into deep and 
bitter execrations, and showed all the agony of 
creatures strugghng in the waters of a cataract 
that was fast sweeping them to its falls. 

What in this tremendous hour were the feelings 
of poor Charlotte? Her sufferings were tenfold! 
She viewed herself as the thoughtless being 
through whose means this hideous fate had been 
brought on so many of her fellow creatures! She 
imagined that every countenance around her, 
wrmig with pain and privation, and but too dis- 
tinctly revealing the ravages of suffering within, 
was turned reproachfully on her, and in each 
glaring orb that glistened through want of aliment, 
she could only behold the scowl of vindictiveness 
and revenge. Then she thought of what would 
have been the result, had not her sister prevented 
her from disclosing the inconsiderate trick ! Pic- 
tuiing to herself in a thousand honid shapes the 
vengeance which she thought they would have 



158 

inflicted upon her, she reclined her head upon 
Margarita's bosom, and wept in agony. 

This emotion being attributed by those around, 
to extreme privation, tended not a httle to aug- 
ment their distress at beholding misery which they 
were unable to alleviate, and which it might so 
shortly be their own lot to encounter, such com- 
miseration being increased to intensity by her 
beauty, the knowledge of her extreme warmth and 
kindness of heart, as well as their being usually 
accustomed to behold her all gaiety and liveli- 
ness. Margarita, though almost sinking herself, 
knew what it was that weighed so heavy on her 
sistei-'s spirits, and did every thing in her power 
to console her. As, however, Charlotte's mental 
powers of sustentation had given way as much 
through sympathy with her physical deprivations 
as from any other cause, argument could go but 
a veiy short way in relieving her. It was now 
noon, and the sea was still as ever. Their sufferings 
were increasing with every minute that brought them 
nearer to the dreadful alternative in view. Human 
nature seemed gradually to be losing her affinities, 
and man looked on man with an eye of hideous 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 159 

meaning, as if their bodily wants had subdued 
each natural reluctance of the mind and the for- 
bearance with which we in general behold our 
fellow-creatures. Saving an occasional whisper or 
remark, scarcely a word was spoken. 

The individual who seemed to bear this stan^a- 
tion best, was Nathaniel. Absorbed in his own 
thoughts, his only effort at speaking was when he 
addressed a few words of consolation to his nieces, 
which he frequently did, after his own style ; and 
the chief part of his pain seemed^ to arise from the 
contemplation of Margarita's placid countenance, 
where the flesh was already sinking and displaying 
through its alabaster transparency the maze of 
little blood-vessels that ramified beneath. 

From his affectionate scrutiny, the calmness of 
her deportment, and assumed tranquillity, failed to 
mask the insidious vampire preying on her life- 
blood. He held her already attenuated hand in 
his, muttering from time to time, " Dearest 
Margiee ! thou art surely suffering." 

Let the extremity, however, be what it may, it 
is seldom that man's wit is utterly unable to alle- 
viate his distress. In the present instance, after 
suffering for some time the pangs that attacked 



160 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

them both from withm and without, the seamen 
tliought of fishing, and managed to rig out two 
hnes and catch a hake, a common fish in that part 
of the Channel. They now found out that they 
had no means of fighting a fire; the only resource 
was to consume it without cooking, and as their 
booty was of some size, their joy was excessive. 

Margarita and Charlotte alone were unable to 
partake of the blessing which afforded its relief to 
the others ; to the entreaties of Puff, Bombast, and 
the sophisms of Lady Sapphira they were equally 
deaf, and begged that it might not again be men- 
tioned to them — they prefeiTed staiTation, As 
their objections seemed insuperable, the rest of the 
party proceeded to divide the fish into lots, though 
their happiness was much damped by the know- 
ledge that the two most to be pitied could not 
share it with them. 

No sooner did the chaplain perceive that all the 
pai'ty were served, than he turned towards his 
nieces, whose faces were averted from the shocking 
scene, and said, with a feigned air of recollection, 
" Now I think of it, dear Girls, there is my 
share of yesterday's pasty still untouched — ^you 
shall dine on that. It grieves me to see you starv- 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 161 

ing when ever)- one else is comforting liimself P' 
and taking the key of the after locker from his 
pocket, he produced the dish containing his share 
of the venison pasty, which the generous but rough 
and eccentric chaplain had forborne to eat himself 
on the day before, in order that he might reserv-e 
it for the coming necessity of her he loved so 
warmly. 

Up to this moment Margarita had controlled her 
emotions. She had struggled manfully with the 
pangs that had assailed her, nor had she struggled 
in vain, and the proof of feminine weakness which 
personal privation had been imable to wring from 
her, this touching mark of tenderness at once drew 
forth. Grasping his hand, she said, " My dearest 
uncle, what must you not have suffered, without 
food since the morsel of yesterday morning ?" 

" Take it, dear Child; the joy of having it 
to give to you more than takes away my suf- 
ferings. Besides, you know that in ordinary life 
I never indulge in spirit, so the brandy and water 
has been a cordial to me." Charlotte could say no- 
thing, but her gratitude was not the less apparent 
to her warm-hearted relative. As for the sailors, 
they were so much affected at this instance of self- 



16*2 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

sacrifice and devotion, that they at once insisted 
on his acceptmg the two shares that had been put 
aside for his nieces. Here Puff and Bombast looked 
up with the fond hope that he would give to them 
a portion of such a superabundance ; but they were 
disappointed, since the old gentleman allowed the 
desirable morceaux to remain beside him, while 
with a half reluctant physiognomy he consumed 
his own share. 

It was now five o'clock, and tw^o teaspoonsful of 
brand}^ having been served out to each individual 
witli a due proportion of water, they prepared to 
take their rest once more. The timely succour 
which had been afibrded to them, had raised their 
spirits in an unexpected degree, and they pre- 
pared to fast until the morning, with a resigna- 
tion unknown to them before. 

Slight as the morsel was which Nathaniel had 
so generously saved, yet to such delicate appetites 
as those of the two sisters, it proved almost as 
much as they might have dared to eat in their 
present state. It was tlierefore with far more 
tranquil feeUngs that they beheld the sun once 
more sinking into the amber waves, which his 
•occidental splendour illumined. 



A TALE OF THE WAE. 163 



CHAPTER VII. 

" Cease every joy to glimmer on my mind, 
But leave, O ! leave the light of Hope behind." 

CAMPBELL. 

As Margarita placidly contemplated the still scene 
around, and watched tlie young moon rising in 
the east, she recalled tliat evening, when on the 
terrace of her hap]3y home she had \vitnessed 
a similar scene ; more beautiful certainly, but far 
less grand than now, when the first quarter of the 
pale planet vras glowing tremblingly in the firma- 
ment, and reflected with the utmost brilliancy fi-om 
the glittering and boundless expanse suiTounding 
them. Yet it was not nature or her chai'ms which 
encircled that recollection with so much tender- 
ness and pleasure. No — she was unconsciously 
imaging to herself the dark features of him whose 
voice she had that night heai'd for the first time 
in song! A thousand singular conjectm'es and 
ideas came mingled with the remembrance of him ; 



164 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

but none of them served to elucidate the mystery 
with which he appeared to be enshrouded, and 
while she mutely wondered whether he really 
loved her sister, she was in reality examining if 
he loved herself. 

When love first comes upon the heart, we 
are partly unaware of its approach, and partly 
determined not to be sensible of it; and thus 
Margarita warmly nursed the early germs of a 
passion which, had she known herself, she would 
instantly have discountenanced from principle. 
So strict was she in the habit of the last virtue, 
that no sacrifice was in her view too great to be 
offered to it. After the conversation held with 
Chai'lotte, she would readily have given up her 
own affections to this feeling. 

The morning dawned once more, but it was 
like the one which preceded, brilliant but calm. 
With renewed hope they had recourse to their 
lines, but no success attended their labours. Even- 
ing came round, and all that they possessed to sus- 
tain their famishing frames were the two extra 
portions which the crew had given to Nathaniel, 
and which he now restored to them. This dread- 
fully scanty pittance having been eked out with 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 165 

a few drops of brandy and water, the crew sought 
repose. As for Margarita and her sister, this, to 
them nauseous potation, was all that they were 
able to take. 

Scarcely had they swallowed then* teaspoonfid of 
brandy and half a pint of water, when the heavy 
clouds that had been gradually gathering over- 
head during the afternoon, began to discharge 
their contents on the heads of the ill-fated party 
below, as if death, before he poimced upon his 
prey, must needs enjoy the utmost possible ex- 
tent of their miser}'. Having secured the sail 
which sened for an aiming, m such a manner as 
to i:atch the rain that fell on it, the men quietly 
awaited the issue of the day. 

The hopes of the morning, where had they 
fled } There was the sea, air, sky, the same Provi- 
dence ruled over the last, the same elements of 
the breeze remained m the second, nor were the 
tenants of the first less numerous or more shy ; 
yet the hearts that but a few hours since had 
viewed this same situation with the light feelings 
of men confident in a speedy deUverance, now 
looked forth upon the scene with the phrenzy of 
despair or the savage recklessness of men doomed 



166 THE POET ADMIRAL, 

to perdition. Yet of all amid the groupe, none 
could have excited such feelings of compassion as 
the fair twins. 

In the face of Charlotte famine and mental 
agony were both visible, as she sat leaning her 
arm on her sister's shoulder, while the tears slowly 
coursed one another over cheeks whose beauty 
was almost scared away. In Margarita's counte- 
nance, however, the expression seemed almost 
as tranquil and gentle as in her hours of ease, 
but it was the sharp prominent lines around 
the blue orbits of her sunken eyes, the thin nos- 
tril, the wasted cheek and lips, and the fair chin 
whose usual roundness had vanished, that informed 
the beholder of the anguish disguised under so 
much seeming equanimity. As for Lady Sapphira, 
she appeared most to resemble a leathern bottle, 
the which, as it is not much increased by any soak- 
ing, neither is it to be diminished by any process 
of evaporation. To the heart of Nathaniel, the 
deplorable and fast sinking state of his nieces, 
gave the utmost anguish. Yet what was it in his 
power to effect ? 

The fourth morning at last arrived, and the un- 
broken smoothness of the wave was now viewed 



A TALE OF THE WAR, 167 

with a sullen rage and despair. Both party and 
crew had the appearance of spectres, but the poor 
sisters looked wretched indeed ! It was scarcely 
possible to imagine that one night could have 
effected so lamentable a change. Charlotte was 
speechless, her dull eye, secluded within its Hd, 
seemed oppressed mth a deathlike torpor, and 
the first approaches of inanition were plainly vi- 
sible. Margaiita still bore up against the cruel 
destiny to which she was exposed, and her voice 
though excessively languid, yet retained its native 
plaintiveness and melody. 

To the reiterated entreaties of her uncle' that 
she would partake of the miserable food they had 
to offer, she rephed, by firmly begging him not 
to mention what pained her more than all the 
pangs of starvation. But a few teaspoonsful of 
brandy remained, and they were cheerfidly given 
up by the crew to the dreadful extremities of those 
whose sufferings naturally excited their pity in a 
pre-eminent degree. Having administered to their 
wants as far as the dreadful occasion pennitted, 
the rest of the party felt themselves doomed to 
the still worse lot of witnessing the last expiring 
agonies of those they loved — of two young beings 



168 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

whose appearance at once excited that interest 
which their virtues maintained. After receiving 
the spirit, they appeared to rally; then as its ex- 
citement subsided, a cold shivering crept over 
them, and a twitching of the limbs became appa- 
rent, accompanied by a violent ague. 

" Wrap me from the cold !" comprised the only 
faint words which Margarita was now able to utter, 
while Charlotte, whose voice was entirely gone, 
could shew by the movement of the features alone, 
the agonies which she was enduring. Despite Na- 
thaniel's stoicism, the tears ran down his withered 
cheek, as he frantically folded Margiee to his heart 
and pressed her bloodless lips to his, ejaculating, 
" Dearest child ! that thou shouldst ever have come 
to this!" and again administering to them two 
teaspoonsful of brandy, he proposed wrapping 
their feet in a boat-cloak and laying them down 
in the bottom of the boat. 

" Here, your Honour, take my jacket," unani- 
mously murmured each of the sailors, in voices thick 
from emotion ; and in an instant the whole of their 
eight coats were thrown into the steerage, to form 
a bed for the poor dying girls, and not a heart 
among that rude crew but felt agonies,' if possible. 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 169 

surpassing theirs. On the moment, Nathaniel 
stripped off his own, and insisted on the same 
from Bombast and Puff, who thought fit to comply 
with the request, after having mutually asked each 
other in an indistinct grumble, whether " they 
might not catch cold ? " 

^' ' Mors janua vitce.^ We ought to be very 
thankftil that we have held out so long ! " sohlo- 
quized Lady Sapphira in an under tone. 

The remains of the tattered mainsail being 
folded under their heads as a pillow, with some of 
the jackets, the remainder were kept to spread 
over their boat-cloak. The poor sisters were then 
gently laid together between, with the faint hope 
of preserving for a little space to come, that vital 
spark that was so near its melancholy extinction. 

Hope appeared to have taken her final depar- 
ture. Garnet mechanically drew up the lines one 
after another, but so httle did he expect to find 
any fish taken, that the failure excited little disap- 
pointment. The men lay down on the deck 
to die, motionless from exhaustion, or momentarily 
starting as some pang more keen than tlie rest 
shot through their agonized frames. The party 
sat watching with dimmed eyes and bmrsting 

VOL. II. I 



170 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

hearts, those two dear forms at their feet, while 
their scorched lips mutely moved in prayer, which 
they had not the faith to think would be granted. 
The tardy hour of noon had at length dragged 
itself on, and the only sustenance now left to the 
famishing party was a draught of water, while the 
remaining brandy, amounting in aU but to three 
teaspoonsful, was divided and poured down the 
almost inanimate throats of the expiring twins. 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 171 



CHAPTER VIII. 



The soft warm hand of youth 



Recalled their answering spirits back from death, 

and soothed 

Each pulse to animation." 

BTEOK. 

Sense already appeared to have taken its final 
flight, though the vital povrers were not quite 
extinct. They took no notice of the brandy being 
given to them, nor betrayed signs of Ufe, fuiiher 
than by a slight gurgling sound that annoimced 
the extreme difficulty of deglutition. 

Nathaniel, on seeing this, knelt do\^n by their 
side in an agony of woe. Bending his face near 
theirs to catch the sHghtest indication of the 
quickened spirit, he remained motionless for seve- 
ral minutes'. Not the faintest breath was dis- 
tinguishable. Not the slightest degree of warmth 
seemed to issue from those lovely lips, once ex- 

I 2 



172 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

pressing the tenderest emotions of joyousness or 
sympathy, compassion, sorrow, or regret, now 
alas! thinned by famine and all but rigid, under 
the stem obstructing hand of death. 

Wringing his hands in despair, he gazed upon 
their still symmetrical figures, and while his tears 
dropped burning on their chilly and palhd brows, 
he supplicated Heaven that such a fate might not 
be consummated. The paroxysm passed; and as 
he once more looked down upon them, the harsh 
lines of his countenance relaxing, evinced more 
resignation to the heart-rending doom. Taking 
up one of the small feathers lying near him, he 
held it to their lips, but it was unmoved. Those 
who watched his face at this moment, might 
have seen the evidences of the anguish that 
wrung his heart. Passing his hand across his 
brow, as if debating what could be done, he 
remained standing for a few seconds, while his 
vacant eye wandered involuntarily along the hori- 
zon. " Surely that is a gull.?" he remarked to 
Garnet, suddenly pointing out a white speck at 
some distance. " Oh if it would please the Lord 
that we might catch it ! " 

" A gull, your Honour?" said the seaman, scruti- 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 173 



nizing. "That — that — that is — Good God' 



"Are you ill, Garnet?" quickly inquired the 
Chaplain with much alarm, putting forth his arm 
to support the agitated seaman, who could only 
reply, as he sank upon the deck, " The Lord has 
sent us a sail at last ! " 

"^A sail!'" repeated Nathaniel, staring wildly, 
and scarcely less moved than the other. 

"'^ sailP^' reechoed ten voices in tones 
discordant with joy, when the nimblest remaining 
among them climbed up the mast, and not only 
confirmed their conjectures, but reported that she 
was bringing a fine breeze dov^Ti to them, since 
he could see it rippUng the surface for a mile on 
either side of her. 

WTio can conceive all the joy of the sufferers at 
this moment? Alas! only those who have ex- 
perienced a similar reprieve, from a death equally 
horrid. Perhaps these also can imagine the 
bitter grief of Natlianiel as he recurred to his 
nieces, and the overwhelming idea that possessed 
him, tJbat their spirits might have fled beyond 
recalL It was indeed a maddening reflection, that 
they, by whom the pangs of privation had been 
most deeply felt, should be the only individuals 



174 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

for whom deliverance was not reserved ; that they 
whom beauty, youth, and virtue, most fitted to en- 
joy and to delight the world, should be the selected 
victims to whose bright eyes its fading glories 
were never more to be unfolded ! 

" Had I only but another teaspoonful of 
brandy?" muttered the kind Chaplain, clasp- 
ing his hands, then adding in a Jess nervous tone, 
" But it is not for me to complain. He who sends 
life into the mighty elements, can surely prolong, 
or even revive it in His helpless chikben." Once 
more kneeling down by their side, he pulled out 
his hunting-w^atch — then but lately invented, 
and only used among the rich — and having opened 
and wiped the inside of the bright gold lid, he 
held it over the parched lips of Margarita. The 
anxiety with which he tremblingly kept it in its 
position, gave way to a look of extreme happiness, 
as he beheld the vapour which dulled the polish 
of the gold. On the instant he repeated the same 
experiment with Charlotte, and though with less 
success, there was still sufficient to wan*ant the 
hope that all was not yet over. The tears which 
had formerly flowed from excess of misery, were 
now succeeded by those of extravagant delight. 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 175 

mingled ^vith the most sacred drops of gratitude, 
and few were the moistless eyes which that boat 
contained. 

On their first discerning the approaching sail, 
they had hoisted a small union-jack made fast to 
a boat-hook, which the man at the mast-head was 
to wave. In addition to this, tliey luckily pos- 
sessed an ensign which they now displayed upside- 
down, the signal of disti'ess. Half an hour had 
elapsed, since the sti'anger was first descried ; 
owing to their being so low on the water, she was 
then only seven miles distant, and by this time the 
space separating the vessels was no more than two 
miles. 

The lighter airs preceding the greater body of 
the breeze, began at length to unfold their ensign, 
on perceiving which, the stranger instantly crowded 
all his studding sails and came gallantly on, under 
a press of canvass below and alofl. The men now 
standing on the deck could behold several little 
specks in the rigging of the sti*anger, who were in 
their turn reconnoitring oiu: friends with glasses. 
She approached them now with vast rapidity, and 
as the waves curled in foam under her fore-foot, 
she appeared more Hke a native of the element 



176 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

over which she shot along, and coeval in her 
origin with the monsters of the deep, than a mere 
thing of art, and the creation of the pigmy who 
rules a world, beside the paltriest feature of which 
he is utterly insignificant. But no, I will not re- 
cord such a sentence — man has mind and to that 
incomprehensible essence it is in vain that nature 
would endeavour with her mightiest barriers to set 
one limit or effectual bound 1 

" What is he think you, Jack?" asked one of 
the sailors of Garnet. 

" Faith, boy ! I can't tell, — she hoists no en- 
sign ; but this I know, she's a ship, and if she 
were the Dutchman, I'd go aboard of her ! " 

" Well but how is it that she doesn't shorten 
sail ? She comes tearing along right for us, and 
for anything we know, she may be a Johnny 
Crappo going to run us down." 

Indeed there was some slight ground for such 
an apprehension, since the stranger was within 
the distance of a quarter of a mile, steering di- 
rectly for our little bark, at the rate of some ten 
miles an hour. In an instant, and with the cele- 
rity of magic, the whole mass of sail was reduced, 
shewing a small but beautifully formed vessel, with 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 177 

three masts, at some two hundred yards distance. 
Though her velocity was thus diminished, it was 
far from destroyed, and while the cry of horror 
at being run down was yet upon the hps of our 
friends, the stranger had sheared their boat suffi- 
ciently close to allow the leap of a young man, from 
the stranger's taffi*ail, upon their cuddy, while the 
stranger rounded to under their stem, and shot up 
a-head to windward on the other bow. On re- 
corering from their apprehension, our friends 
looked up, and beheld in their dehverer the per- 
son of Captain Croiser ! 

He neither saw nor addressed any of his former 
acquaintance, now pouring forth their thanks 
around him — he only beheld the sad spectacle 
which the bottom of the boat cUsplayed to his 
view. The silent agony which lie endured, I leave 
to the imagination of those who have intensely 
loved. He stood as if suddenly an*ested in his 
leap, and while excessive agitation gave him no 
words for utterance, he pointed towards the sadly 
altered form of ^largarita, and shaking his hand 
with impatience, mutely demanded an explanation 
of what he saw. 

Those aroimd him seemed scarcely less as- 

i3 



178 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

founded than himself, and they remained as 
silent, when putting forth an arm at random to 
catch the support of the nearest person, and tot- 
tering one step forward, he said in a quick broken 
voice — " They have been starved ! " 

" Why," replied the Chaplain, who still re- 
mained kneeling at their side and chafing their 
temples, " you may judge for yourself, but at 
least they very soon will be — seeing they have 
eaten no rational food for the last three days —if 
instant relief be not afforded to them." 

" I thought so — I saw your ensign reversed — I 
recognized your face and Lady Sapphira, and I 
asked myself what could you be doing here " — then 
without waiting a reply, he instantly turned to- 
wards his vessel, and hailed " Tarpaulin ahoy! 
Lay your vessel gunwale-to — alongside here, and 
whip a cot out fi'om your main-yard-aim ! Quick, 
for your life ! " 

" Ay, ay, sir!" was the answer heard in the 
gruff voice of Nine-Fathom-Tim, whose bulky 
form, like a modern Ajax or a living Martello 
Tower, now upreared itself on the schooner's 
taffrail. 

The fore and maintopsails being quickly sheeted 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 179 

home, she was in a few seconds laid in the de- 
- sired position, and her commander's cot suspended 
by a tackle fi'om the main-yard, was lowered into 
the launch. Croiser hfting up Margarita in his 
arms, placed her carefully within the canvass 
couch, while Nathaniel and PuiF being less strong, 
performed the same office for Charlotte. Having 
been gently hoisted in-board, Croiser followed 
with his hand still upon the cot, and giving it to 
six men to bear it aft upon their shoulders, the 
sky-hghts were taken off from the cabin, and the 
exhausted sufferers warily lowered below. 

" WTiat's all this? what's all this, Croiser?" was 
quickly demanded in French, by an individual 
whom I have not time to describe at this moment, 
any further than by saying, that in person he was 
short and somewhat sHght, that his very high and 
noble forehead was a natural patent of his soul's 
nobility; that his features were at once marked, 
decisive, ftdl, and fair, and that an eagle might 
well have quailed before his piercing dark grey 
eye. His whole appearance and carriage were 
noble and commanding, and he trod as one un- 
accustomed to an equal, in intellect or rank. 



180 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

" These are the daughters of the Port Admiral 
at Plymouth, Sir Richard Salisbury," returned 
Croiser immediately, with the most marked de- 
ference : " it seems they set out on a party of 
pleasure, have been detained by a calm, and are 
nearly dead from famine." 

" Ah how shocking ! " returned the Frenchman, 
involuntarily uttering an exclamation of pain as he 
clenched his little hands and contracted his brow 
at the bare imagination of the misery which they 
must have undergone. " FoUow me, Croiser, let 
us see to them," he added, rapidly making his 
way to the cabin below, while Croiser, having 
given a quick order to Tarpaulin to see every 
assistance rendered to the rest of the party, 
quickly descended to Margarita's side. Feeling 
the delicacy of then- situation, Croiser's first care 
was to seek out Lady Sapphira as the only 
female on board, and beg her assistance. 

" Dear me. Captain Croiser, I am dying myself! 

But it is very true — my nieces certainly but 

could you order me — I am so famished — to be 
sure, I say, I'll see to them, but could you order 
me a lamb chop ? — or maybe you've a nice cook — I 



A TALE OF THE WAR. ISl 

heard some people speaking French, so let it be a 
delicate /ricandeau de veau. Where is poor Mar- 
giee? And by the bye, T should not dislike a 
glass of eau de vie^ I know yours is the true 
Cognac." 

" Yes, yes, my Lady, any thing — every thing; 
only for mercy's sake this way ! Steward ! brandy, 
and the best that you have to eat. This way 
Lady Sapphixa, think while we delay, life may be 
lost!" 

" Indeed — ne — ver — knew it ! So here they are ! 
WTiy bless me how ill they look still ! Why what 
had better be done ? Margarita ! Chaiiotte ! Wliy 
dear me they don't answer yet I " 

" Tut — tut — tut," interrupted the Frenchman, 
whom we shall for tlie present call Monsieur 
Rannolini. — " Bah, Croiser I Xinny that thou art, 
to bring me this old fool ! Send her away to her 
spinning-wheel — these things are only in the way 
in an emergency like this I " 

" I brought her on account of her sex — as 
females " 

" Truly! And which is the best; the delicacy 
that lets them die, or the attention that restores 



182 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

them ? You have studied a Uttle of surgery — you 
are here as a surgeon — I as an old married 
man — Enough of that — let us be prompt; we 
want to recover the vital heat, do we not? Then 
where is my eaii de Dmitzic ? and get the stove 
lit instantly, and order my cot here with half a 
dozen additional blankets; and above all, I say, 
beat that old woman's retreat ! " 

"I will. Monsieur. Steward! Quick — the eau 
de Dmitzic! Light the fire, bring the other cot, 
take six or seven blankets out of store, and pass 
the word forwai'd to heat a dozen shot, and as 
much water as possible. Now, Lady Sapphira, I 
dare say they have something ready for you, and 
perhaps " 

" Yes yes, exactly, perhaps I had better sup- 
port myself w4th a little something at first, and 
then I shall be better enabled to assist you after- 
wards. Hah! there are Captain Bombast and 
his fiiend the Major! I'll join them, and then 
I shall be sure to be among the best that's 
going on." 

Croiser, havmg disposed of my Lady, quickly 
returned to the after-cabin, on the deck of which 





A TALE OF THE WAR. 183 

the cot had been lowered. The Frenchman was 
on one knee, his expressive features lighted up 
with all the animation that bespoke the extreme 
energy of liis character, only seen to its fall ex- 
tent in a moment of danger. He had succeeded 
in pouring a table-spoonfiil of the golden h- 
queur through their parched lips, and was now 
very busily employed in chafing the outside of 
Charlotte's throat with hartshorn, while on the 
other side of the cot was Nathaniel performing 
the same kind office for Margarita. Having in- 
stantly joined the latter, Croiser rendered ever}^ 
assistance in his power, with all that alacrity 
which love adds to compassion, and aU the effec- 
tiveness which talent combined with ardour can 
produce. 

Having brought forth all the stimuli which his 
smaU medicine-chest afforded, he set to work 
chafing their benumbed and delicate little i^QX^ until 
retiuning warmth began to be exhibited. By this 
time the cannon shot ^^'ere sufficiently heated, 
and each ball having been tied up in a piece of 
blanket, they were disposed at the various extre- 
mities where it was necessary to excite the circu- 



184 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

lation. A very large kettle was then brought in 
and placed on the fire by Croiser's direction, and 
while M. Rannolini was inquiring for what use it 
was intended, his friend opened a case containing 
a very large and splendid Turkish hookhah-pipe. 
Tearing off the flexible tube from the cut glass 
bowl, Croiser affixed it to the spout of the caul- 
dron whence the steam was issuing in volumes, 
and removing the amber mouth-piece introduced 
it into the foot of the cot, which was speedily 
filled by the boiling vaj)our thus communicated. 

"Hah! that is admirable — that is clever!" 
quickly remarked M. Rannolini, his eyes sparkling 
at the ready invention of a temporary steam-bath, 
displaying the ingenuity so conspicuous in sea- 
men. The good effects of these measures soon 
began to be made apparent; the pulsations of 
their young hearts, though low, could soon be 
plainly distinguished, a throbbing of the Umbs 
succeeded to their former inanimate listlessness. 
Two table-spoonsful of the liqueur were now ad- 
ministered to each. The pulse at the wi'ist be- 
came perceptible once more, vital warmth could 
again be felt in their feet, and very shortly, to the 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 186 

inexpressible joy of those who so tenderly watched 
over them, their features were agitated as if by 
the throes of returning sensibihty. 

Their exertions were, if possible, redoubled — no 
expedient was left untried, and the cot having 
been now filled with steam for some time, Croiser 
had recourse to Lady Sapphira again. Her lady- 
ship was by this time, as she termed it, " much 
comforted," and the necessity of the case being 
forcibly impressed upon her, she was begged to 
exert herself to the utmost, in disrobing her 
nieces of their damp garments, and transferring 
them to the heated woollens of the other cot pre- 
pared for the purpose. 

Being left to herself, my Lady managed to 
effect tluB, much to the surprise and satisfaction 
of Croiser and Rannolini, and that in a shorter 
time than they had allotted. ^Mien admitted once 
more, they persevered in their former course, and 
by the apphcation of fresh shot and repeated doses 
of the cordial, they had at length the supreme 
satisfaction of seeing these " sisters of the sea," as 
RannoHni styled them, open thjeir eyes. 

With what rapture and transport did Croiser 
first gaze upon those light hazel orbs, which, 



186 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

though sunk and dimmed, yet contained for him 
expression beyond all utterance — that expression 
which he could have wished to study and peruse 
for ever. They opened, and then their long 
silken lashes closed once more, as if to shut out 
the beams whose first radiance was as yet too 
strong for them. Again they were unclosed, and 
as Croiser whispered gently in her ear, " Mar- 
garita !" and bending near, seemed to drink with 
delight her first returning breath of Ufe, her 
faithful memory recognized her deUverer, while 
her gentle and half conscious smile more than 
repaid him. 

As returning consciousness grew more evident, a 
perception of where she was, and who surrounded 
her, drew the banished blood back to her cheek, 
still her voice was too faint to admit of any distinct 
articulation. Croiser, seeing her confusion, in- 
stantly withdrew to the other side to see how 
Charlotte fared. As the latter had been less able 
to support it throughout, her recovery was some- 
what slower. The moment was however patiently 
waited for, and every advantage taken of it. On her 
recognizing Croiser, her surprise seemed greater, 
and her acknowledgments as warm as Margiee's, 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 187 

though not so grateiiil to his heart. By nine 
o'clock that night aU danger was considered as 
past, and Croiser therefore lost no time in putting 
four of his men into the launch, and sending her 
back to Plymouth, to announce to Sir Richard 
Salisbury, the recovery of his daughters, and their 
immediate an^ival within a day or two. 

The wind was at that time fan*, but the Pearl, 
(for to this name Croiser had, since his acquaint- 
ance -^-ith Margarita, changed the appellation of 
his vessel,) being brought-to to prevent her rolling 
before the ^\dnd and affecting his fair patients, 
was stationary for the night. Scarcely, however, 
was the launch fairly on her way, than he felt al- 
most tempted to call her back, under the idea that 
he should reach the port before her. " But let 
her take her chance, it's just as well," thought he, 
" she must have had the hands* in her to take 
her back, and I have no occasion for her keeping 
company." 

One half of the cabin, including the fire-place, 

being screened off for the patients, Croiser and 

Nathaniel kept watch alternately outside, and were 

unremitting in their attention. A long and placid 

* The men are often termed " hands." 



188 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

slumber succeeded their restoration to life. Sooth- 
ingly did each long drawn breath fall on the ear 
of the young watcher, and if he stole to take a 
glance of her who slept, more frequently than her 
existence absolutely demanded, we must remem- 
ber that the soft spell of her loveliness was thrown 
around his heart, and drew him towards her with 
a delightful and natural attraction. 

When morning came, they were at length able 
to speak, and express those feelings of joy and 
gratitude which had before found no interpreter 
but the eye. Even already they began to lose 
that spectral appearance which they had so lately 
worn. With Charlotte's senses, returned her flow 
of spirits, and having inquired whether Lady Sap- 
phira had gone off with the marvellous Captain to 
the Longbow Islands, she requested leave to get 
up. This request it was thought proper to deny 
for the present. On inquiiing what was the state 
of the weather, and learning that it was a calm, 
they showed even here, w^hen surrounded by every 
comfort and security, some slight return of that 
dread with which it had so lately and so awfully 
inspired them. 

Sir Richard Salisbury, having at an early period 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 189 

of his life spent two years in a French prison, had 
become thoroughly acquainted with the language, 
and his subsequent career proyed it to be of so 
much use that it was one of the first accomplish- 
ments in which his daughters were instructed ; de- 
spite of his thorough-British hatred of eyery thing 
and person that might, howeyer remotely, be styled 
GaUic. 

Monsieur RannoUni no sooner beheld the fiill 
dark laughing eye of Charlotte, than he acknow- 
ledged its power. Her knowledge of his lan- 
guage, at that time not so general among us as at 
present, greatly added to tliis effect, and on the 
second day, when she was enabled to rise and 
conyerse with him, her sprighthness and good 
temper completed the conquest which her beauty 
had begun ; and for M. Rannohni, he was most 
attentive. 

His busy life haying hitherto passed almost 
solely among men, and his genius and feeHngs 
haying led him to take the yan in the perilous strife 
of his fellow-creatures, he had enjoyed but Uttle 
opportunity for cultivating any particular predi- 
lection for the gentler sex. To Charlotte the no- 
velty of his acquamtance, the vast fund of informa- 



190 

tion which he possessed, the various countries he 
had seen, his commanding look and manner, all 
had their charm ; and if at first she thought of 
Croiser, she beheld him so taken up with Marga- 
rita that her scruples vanished, and she determined 
to enjoy the delights of a new flirtation. Na- 
thaniel, delighted at the restoration of his nieces, 
relapsed into his usual state of reverie, and walked 
the deck or read a book, while Lady Sapphira en- 
tered into much edifying converse with the marvel- 
lous Captain and the wonderful Major. 

"The Peaii of the Ocean" seemed indeed no 
unapt name for Croiser's vessel, since she was 
fitted up with every care for her men, and every 
luxury for her commander. Her original destiny 
appeared to have been difierent fi-om the end 
which she now answered, since besides the two 
state cabins, the length of which extended firom 
side to side, her steerage was fitted with four 
additional berths of much less proportions. At 
this juncture they proved most useful. M. Ran- 
nolini occupied one, and Croiser, Nathaniel, and 
Bombast, the others, while Puff was but too 
happy to get a hammock. One of these small 
cabins belonged to the mate, Nine-Fathom-Tim, 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 191 

" but," said he, " I scorns to be stowed away in a 
coffin, afore ould death's knocked the breath out 
of my body." 

The present state of the weather, which still 
continued calm, was the only thing which de- 
tracted from their happiness. The person who 
appeared to bear this delay \^'ith the least resigna- 
tion was Rannolini. To him not even the sprightly 
converse of Charlotte could reconcile such a pro- 
crastination. Often, when walking the deck with 
her, he woidd suddenly pause, and looking forth 
upon the imperturbed waters, he would stamp 
his foot with impatience, exclaiming, " Bah ! Is 
not this annoying.? Fortune, thou hast not used 
me kindly! Croiser, can we do nothing? Nothing 
to get on, till this provoking wind comes?" 

" Nothing Gen " , Crosier would reply very 

respectfully — then correcting himself — " Nothing 
at all, M. Rannolini ! " 

" Is it not annoying ? " the other would con- 
tinue, turning to Charlotte. 

" No," replied the latter, unaccustomed to see 
such sHght store set on her society. " I think you 
ought to consider yourself very well off. If it 
were not that the daring in your countenance 



192 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

proves you to belong to the nation of Buonaparte, 
I should say, from your want of gallantry, that 
you were no Frenchman 1 " 

" Ah, that Buonaparte !" interrupted Rannolini, 
his eyes sparkling at the mention of the name. 
" Apropos of him. What a pretty fellow he is ! 
What a charlatan ! " 

'' ' A charlatan,' you ungrateful creatin*e ? You 
a Frenchman, and speak in that way of a man 
who has made your nation every thing ? Whose 
genius has not only saved you from foreign domi- 
nion, but raised France to her former state as one 
of the first nations in the world ! You to call him 
a charlatan? Why if it had not been for him, 
you would have been cutting one another's throats 
in Paris till this very hour ! ' A charlatan ! ' I 
declare I won't walk an instant longer with you — 
I idolize him ! " As she said this, the spirited girl 
withdrew her arm from Rannolini, and ran a\vay 
to another part of the deck. 

" Forgive me then, my fair censor ! " said he, 
following her, " I did not expect to meet with 
such admiration of the French Consul in an 
English-woman ! " 

" What then, do you suppose the Enghsh 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 193 

cannot admire what is great, if it happens to 
bestow its splendour the other side of Dover 
Straits? Do you think that twenty-one miles 
ought to make such a difference ? No indeed ! I 
shall have nothing to say to you, unless you 
confess that my idol is a perfect hero, and the 
greatest man Hving ! " 

" Nay then, if that really be the case, I must 
confess that I was joking, since I have the honour 
of knowing General Buonaparte." 

" Have you ? Then do tell me all about him. 
I should so hke to see him ! Where is he now ? " 

" I cannot name the exact spot. A\Tien I left 
Paris, he had just departed on a visit to the coast, 
and various rumours were afloat. Some affirmed 
his visit to be a preparatory step to his landing in 
England." 

" Do you think that he'll come ? Oh how I 
should like to see such a hero! Now you're a 
dear man — I'll give you my arm again ! Tell me — 
describe him to me — tell me every thing that you 
know about him." And Charlotte as eagerly 
seized his arm now, as she had before been hasty 
in relinquishing it. 

Rannohni, on his part, seemed to take particular 

VOL. II. K 



194 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

pleasure in fulfilling her request, and while he 
gave her his support, he related the scene which 
had so lately taken place at a grand levee of the 
First Consul, when the last individual openly re- 
buked Lord Whitworth for the suspicions which 
the King's Speech contained. He then pro- 
ceeded to describe very minutely, the private 
habits of Napoleon, the manner and person of 
Josephine, of whom he spoke most favourably. 
He also gave a description of the state of Paris 
and Parisian society at that moment; the feel- 
ings of the people relative to the rupture of the 
Treaty of Amiens ; the general enthusiasm of the 
army; the rumours as to what were the steps 
most likely to be pursued by the modern Caesar, 
and many other little pieces of information which 
perfectly dehghted the volatile Charlotte. 

Dazzled — as indeed who might not be ? — by the 
halo which his genius had cast around him, to the 
highly susceptible mind of Charlotte, the character 
of Napoleon appeared truly heroic ; despite of the 
atrocious calumnies which at that time unjustly 
blotted his name. Her enthusiasm leading her to 
believe that all these reports were exaggerated, 
the actual shade which they flung upon his 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 195 

fame, only sensed to heighten her admiration 
of the daring chief of the French repubhc. 

The reader, after this, may readily conceive her 
delight at meeting with one who could give her so 
many of those details which she longed to hear ; 
and in the height of the feehng which these ex- 
cited, she asked whether it was not possible to 
put back to France — from which the Peaii had 
only started the day before their providential ren- 
contre—and by going to Paris, get a sight of her 
favourite. RannoUni starting at this proposition, 
smiled at her wild romance, and assured her that 
it was impossible, just as she had recollected her- 
self sufficiently to call to mind the distress in 
which the good old Port Admual must be, until 
their safe arrival. 

They had now been on board four days. Their 
health had become rapidly re-established, and ever}^ 
one was longing for a termination of the calm. 
During its continuance, they breakfasted at eleven, 
amused themselves throughout the day by conver- 
sation, chess, and backgammon, until dinner at four. 

Rannolini always rose quickly from this meal, 
without sitting over the dessert, saymg, " Come, 

K 2 



196 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

Croiser, let us take a walk;" they then paced the 
deck for an hour. In these walks he was very fond 
of leaning on the young captain's shoulder — pre- 
sently he would pause, crossing his arms on his 
breast, and if out of hearing, would give way with 
great volubility and slight occasional action to 
the developement of those gigantic plans on the 
execution of which they were both bent. Croiser 
listened with the most profound interest and re- 
spect, mingled with affectionate regard. Sud- 
denly, Rannolini would end his disquisition with 
the rapid question," You see that — eh? " and without 
waiting for an answer, would cross his hands be- 
hind him and walk on at Croiser's side, as if in 
intense thought. After a pause of some minutes, 
he would as suddenly look up with a smile of 
the utmost affability, and putting forth his hand 
gently pinch his young companion by the ear, 
and after addressing to him one or two playful 
remarks, turn round quickly, saying, " Come, 
Croiser, let us join the ladies at their vingt et un. 
They would descend to the cabin, where the rest 
of the party were sitting down to their coffee, 
and having partaken of this beverage, cards were 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 197 

produced, at the especial desire of M. Rannolini, 
who seemed to take an unusual interest in this 
game. 

He always persisted in sitting next to Charlotte, 
who was no way displeased at the coiu't paid to 
her, and in return agreed to enter into partnership 
with him. This being arranged, their whole plan 
throughout the game was trying which could cheat 
to the greatest extent, with the least detection. This 
was exactly suited to Charlotte, and she according- 
ly took gi-eat delight in it. AMien the game was 
concluded, M. Rannolini restored and divided his 
winnings among the party, and the twins sang one 
or two songs, accompanying themselves on Croi- 
ser's guitar. Supper succeeded this part of the 
evening's entertainment, and the guests then re- 
tired for the night. 

Among the many methods to which RannoHni 
had recomse for amusement, was that of talking to 
the seamen — Tarpaulin in particular, by means 
of Croiser's interpretation. In exery thing relating 
to the sea or seamen, he seemed to take the great- 
est interest. He listened to their stories, entered 
into their jokes, and made them sing to him, with 
as much avidity as if he had understood their 
anguage. It so happened on one forenoon, that 



198 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

he and Croiser were walking the quarter-deck, 
when they observed two of the sailors come up 
from below and go aft to Nine-fathom Tim, who 
was busily employed in superintending some work 
on the taffrail. Being within earshot, the officers 
listened and distinctly overheard this dialogue : 

" If you plase, Mr. Tarpauhn," said one of the 
seamen, touching his hat, " here's Dick and I 
come up to you, to sittle a little bit o' a dispute 
a'tween us." 

" Dispute, is it Bo ? Then what the deuce d'ye 
bring it to me for ? I'll have nothing to do with it. 
Can't ye clear away for a bend on the lower-deck, 
and fight it out in a quiet way as a Jack-Tar 
should, without coming up blethering and dis- 
puting hke a couple of sea-lawyers ?" 

" Oh, Mister Tarpaulin, you've got the bull by 
the wrong horn, and begging your pardon, it's only 
that Dick and I have been having a little mess o' 
chat about the Bible." 

" The Bible ?" 

" Ay, Sir, and I happening to say something 
concaming St. Paul, Dick would have it that he 
wasn't an apostle." 

" No more he wasn't ! Was he, Mr. Tarpaulin ?" 

" 'Vast heaving, Dick, let me have my say out. 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 199 

Well, Ml'. Tarpaulin, I says, says I, ' Saint Paul 
was an apostle, and as you and I, Dick, can't 
come to any head on the matter, why we'd best 
step up and ask Mr. Tarpaulin,' says I, * for he's 
sure to know all about them 'ere sort o' things.' vSo 
up we come. Mister Tarpaulin, and now I asks 
of you, Mr. Tarpaulin, whether I an't right — that 
St. Paul was an apostle ?" 

" Paul an apostle — Paul an apostle ! " repeated 
Tim, two or three times, shaking his head in the 
greatest perplexity, " Um — Let me see — Dang it ! 
You say he was an apostle, don't ye Bill ?" 

" Yes, Sir, I say he was an apostle." 

'*' And you Dick, you say he wasn't an apostle r" 

" Ay ! just so. Mister Tarpaulin, and blow me 
if he was, either !" 

" Well, and that's what I think, too, my lads," 
returned the sage umpu'e, puzzled beyond decision. 
" St. Paul— St. Paul! Why hang me if 1 recollect 
any thing about the lubber." 

" Not recollect him, Mr. Tarpauhn?" inqiiired 
Bill, in astonishment and dismay. " ^Miy don't 
ye call to mind there in the iVcts, there's a chapter 
of regular log, and all concaming him ?" 

'^' Acts!!' Ugh! Now ye have it," gaily ex- 



200 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

claimed Tim, "he might a' been an ac^m^ Apostle, 
but dash my wig if he was ever ratedP 

Had it not been for the remembrance of the 
Port Admiral's sufferings during this period of sus- 
pense, the sisters could scarcely have desired a 
more pleasant excursion. The cabins of the Pearl 
were fitted up with every luxury that the ingenuity 
of man had at that time invented for ships — no ex- 
pense was spared. It was evident that the owner, 
under whose eye it had been furnished, was ac- 
quainted with oriental manners, by the profusion 
of silk and velvet ottomans which in every direc- 
tion wooed the form to repose, as vrell as the 
Turkish pipes with their handsome amber mouth- 
pieces and gay-coloured cherry sticks, sabres, 
yataghans, a marble bath, and many other little 
things that bespoke the same delightful region to be 
their original clime. 

Upon one of the tables stood a scent case, the 
cut-glass bottles of which bore the letter N upon 
them ; it was also engraved on the golden top which 
protected the stopper. Going up to this case one 
evening after supper, when all beside himself and 
Croiser had retired, M. Rannolini took out one of 
the bottles, and after enjoying its exquisite per- 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 201 

fume for a few moments, he handed it to Croiser, 
saying, " WTiat think you of that, Croiser ? 
Is it not dehcious? How well I remember 
when I first had that scent ! I got it at Milan 
after the preliminaries of Leoben were signed. 
We were then going to treat at Montebello. 
Beautiful spot, Montebello! It was ultimately 
signed at Passeriano. I took some of it with me 
to Egypt, and brought a httle back with me, 
which I gave to a perfumer in Paiis to analyse 
and make me a large quantity of the same. This 
is part of it. How should it be, Croiser ? I scarcely 
can account for it; for me, memoiy scarcely has 
any stronger link than that which is instantly 
called up by any well-known perfume ? Supposing 
I enter a room where there is any particular 
scent — if at any former period of my life I have 
ever met with it before, the very scene — the 
hour — the events passing — the people about 
me, all come back. They seem as vivid as 
though it spread a magic painting before the 
mind. For instance, when I first entered this 
cabin, I was thinking of nothing but our voyage, 
and the time it would occupy. There had been one 
of your Turkish pastiles burning, and there was 

K 3 



202 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

some otto on the table. Instantly I thought of 
Cairo ! — There used very frequently to be a similar 
odour in one of the rooms at the palace of Elfy 
Bey. That Berthier too, the droll ninny ! used to 
scent his chamber in that way. I mean the one 
devoted to his Madame Visconti. In an instant 
every scene in Egypt was before me 1 I fancied 
too I heard the chef d'etat murdering his vowels 
as he came to tell me in his horrid guttural, pre- 
vious to the march of the army against Djezzar, 
that he had relinquished his idea of running back 
to France. But he was a faithful creature ! " and 
here Rannolini took a pinch of snuff and a stride 
across the cabin, as if there was much pleasui'e in 
the remembrance, as he continued, " and Junot 
too : Junot is faithful — he wants prudence. Lannes 
also is devoted and brave as a lion. So is Murat, 
and Ney, and Marmont — all good and truel" 
taking a pinch of snuff between each name. 
" But, poor Desaix ! Even Marengo was dearly 
gained by his loss. However, to return ; I never 
smell that scent without thinking of Milan, and 
Leoben, and Laybach, Campo Formio, and Pas- 
seriano. Ah ! those were happy days ! I was then 
in the first blush of success — but stay, the pear is 



A TALE OF THE WAR, 203 

not yet ripe, Croiser! IVe been thinking that 
there are no successes so dear as our first. We grow 
greater, our schemes are more noble — more vast. 
But then we lose that spring — that elasticity. In 
short, success has become second nature — we ai*e 
hackneyed in it. Give it me again, Croiser — sweet 
perfume ! Ah Milan ! It was at Milan too that 
I saw IMadame Grassini — but that was after Ma- 
rengo. Poor Desaix! Was it not odd that 
Kleber was assassinated in Eg}^t on the same day 
that Desaix fell at Marengo.? Strange! Had 
Kleber lived, France had retained Egypt; means 
should have been found to reinforce him, and 
if Desaix had hved, he would have had the army 
of Italy. Perhaps then we might, after the over- 
throw of Austria, have passed into Turkey, 
erected another empire, have crossed the Bos- 
phorus through Asia, and established a line of 
communications firom Paiis to Cairo — think of 
that!!" 

As Rannohni said this, he paused, and with- 
drawing his hands from behind him, took another 
pinch of snuff; and while liis dark grey eyes 
sparkled at the stupendous conceptions in which 
he dehghted to indulge, he stepped aside to an- 



<204 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

other table where lay materials for writing. Taking: 
a sheet of paper and a pen, he said, " See here, 
Croiser. Here we are at Milan," drawing a 
map of the campaign from his own head as 
readily as if a chart, instead of a blank sheet of 
paper, had been before him. " Very good ! we 
have Milan ; then for our line of march we take 
Laybach, Austria being prostrate. Then we pro- 
ceed on to Banjaluka, just within the boundary of 
Turkey — ^thence to Nissa, or perhaps Janova — 
from that to Adrian ople— and in less than another 
week Turkey is ours, with the tricolour waving 
over the Seven Towers. Very good ! Turkey is 
revolutionized — cross the Strait of Constantinople, 
and proceed to Isknikmid — say thence on to 
Angora, and from Angora to Aleppo. At Aleppo 
we should have time to pause. For see — by that 
time Kleber's reinforced army would have re- 
erossed the desert once more from El Arish, by 
the old route through Gaza and Jaffa, earned 
Acre by storm — it would have been accom- 
plished the first time, had not success made us 
overlook or rather despise our enemy, — and then 
Acre being stormed, and Djezzar's treasure seized, 
the Druses raised and aimed, we should have 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 205 

shaken hands at Aleppo ! The choice and flower 
of the army would have been picked to remain at 
Aleppo ; Kleber would have gone back to resume the 
command of whatever division of ti'oops had been 
left to occupy Eg>'pt against the English. Mean- 
while they should all have set to work to recut 
the old canal at the Isthmus of Suez, and render 
the Red Sea navigable. A fleet from France 
might have manceu^Tcd to gain it, as we did the 
Bay of Aboukir, without being surprised by the 
British. It should have been fortified impreg- 
nably, and by the time that fleet had navigated 
the Red Sea, passed the Straits of Babelmandel; 
and sailed in the direction of Bombay, the Grand 
Indian army would have left Aleppo, passed 
through Persia by permission from and treaty with 
the Shah, and penetrated Hindostan by Hydrabad, 
on the banks of the Indus, just as the French 
fleet had arrived off Cape Monze, to flank the 
maich of the army by the coast, and aid it 
materially in the taking of Bombay. See you! 
that once accompUshed, the Indian empire would 
belong to France. Her armies would then pos- 
sess,'' counting on his fingers, " Austria, Italy, 
Turkey, Asia, Egypt, the greater part of Airica, 



206 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

and the whole of Hindostan, with the exception 
of Persia, in one uninterrupted line of commu- 
nication. Moreover, the Dardanelles being ren- 
dered impregnable with a line of forts, like those 
of Malta and Gibraltar, we should have defied 
the English there. Then Constantinople should 
have been an important arsenal and dock-yard; 
the ships built there would easily have beaten the 
Russian navy, and commanded the Black Sea. As 
well as being at hand to protect our Ionian 
Islands, we should have commanded the mouth 
of the Danube ; that too might have been useful." 

" But who would have had command of this co- 
lossal expedition ? Who would have had the army 
of India.?" 

" Ah ! that indeed is a consideration ! That is a 
reflection that pains me ! The First Consul could 
not have trusted himself so far irom France as 
India. No, that would most likely have fallen on 
Desaix. Desaix had finer notions of true glory — 
would have sacrificed more for it than almost any 
general in France. Yes, I think he might have 
been successful. Our communications once esta- 
blished, with Aleppo for our pivot of operation 
between Damascus and Constantinople, the most 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 207 

difficult part would have been accomplished. He 
might have fallen back on Aleppo ; I should hare seen 
them, at any rate, fairly across the Dardanelles, and 
then have returned by the same route to Paris ; where 
by that time the conscriptions would have had an 
entire new army of the interior. If all was quiet 
and nothing menaced the European line of com- 
munication, and good news had been received of 
Desaix's progress, I might have posted back, so 
as to catch him entering Hindostan, in time to 
conduct the Indian campaign. The Enghsh once 
fairly driven into the sea, I should retrnm to see 
what was wanting in Europe." 

" What a gigantic campaign that would be ! " 
said Croiser with a sigh, as he took up the plan, 
which the other had laid down. 

" ' Gigantic .? ' Ah ! " resumed Rannolini, as he 
took another pinch of snuff, and continued his 
walk with his hands behind him. " One — one 
such campaign as that, and even Alexander's 
would shrink into the distance. A man might be 
content to die, as the price of achieving it ! The 
general who executed such a campaign — say if 
Desaix had signed at Bombay capitulations for 
the evacuation of India by the British, — he would 
have deserved of France to be viceroy of Hin- 



208 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

dostan, and Kleber viceroy of Egypt: or stay, 
emperor would be a better title — ^say, tributary 
emperors of India and Egypt. These things look 
visionary now. Egypt is almost irretrievably gone ; 
Kleber too is gone, and poor Desaix is gone ! — 
But stay, Croiser, stay ! The pear is not yet ripe. 
We know one campaign worth it all. With 
Britain unsubdued, that is to say, its present fonn 
of government remaining, France may be content 
with the sovereignty of Europe, and the plain of 
Germany for her cricket-ground; but with Eng- 
land, Croiser, I say with England, allied to her 
in interest and feeling— they must have the sove- 
reignty of the world. Her fleets would stretch 
from the gulf of Finland to Bombay, so would the 
armies of France. See," sitting himself on the 
side-table, while his legs dangled towards the 
ground, " the head-quarters of the Grand Rus- 
sian Army of France, would be in St. Petersburgh, 
and those of the Grand Indian Army at Madras. 
We might found two cities; one of Britannia at 
Babel-mandel, and another of Napolia at the 
Isthmus of Suez. A canal being cut at the latter, 
as I said before, the whole wealth of India would 
flow through, while the imexplored regions of 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 209 

Persia and Africa would be opened to our com- 
merce and research. With England's fleets pro- 
perly managed — for now they don't make half 
what they might of them, Uke huge mines of salt- 
petre and sulphur in the hands of savages, with 
genius unequal to the invention of po^ der or a 
gun — 1 say then, with England's fleets, nothing 
would be too great for us ! " 

" But in that case you would be left, like your 
favourite Alexander, sighing that nothing more 
remained to be conquered. What could you do ? " 

" That would never occupy a moment's thought. 
Though the world were subdued to-morrow, it 
woidd yet remain to be civilized. Besides, there 
would be China. We might give a better govern- 
ment to tlie Chinese. To conquer a nation is a 
very fine thing; to beautify, to embeUish, to civi- 
hze it, is, if any thing, finer. Supposing that 
England and France had the dominion of the 
world, commerce would be so entirely in their 
own hands, that it would more than repay their 
expenses. What cities they might build ! What 
improvements they might make ! But come, this 
is idle. We shall see — we shall see — Time is the 
best planner after all. These waking dreams ex- 



210 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

cite me — make me feverish. Let us on deck, and 
then to bed! — Croiser," he continued, as leaning 
on the other's arm he ascended to the deck, " I 
have a presentiment that something is going to 
befall us!" 

" Oh surely your imagination runs away with 
you! The topic on which we have been talking 
has over-excited you." 

" No, no, my presentiments never deceive me — 
something is about to happen to us. Moreover, 
to-morrow is one of my unlucky days. But we 
shall see." 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 211 



CHAPTER IX. 

" Submit tliy fate to Heaven's indulgent care, 
Though all seem lost, 'tis impious to despair ; 
The tracks of Providence like rivers wind, 
And though immerged in earth from human eyes, 
Again break forth and more conspicuous rise." 

Having inhaled the cool air for a quarter of an 
horn*, RannoHni wished Croiser good night, and 
gently pinching the ear of the latter, with a good- 
natured smile, he descended to his cabin. The 
night was lovely, the ethereal space above, 
crowded ^vith the jewellery of Heayen, shed a 
soft clear light upon the gleaming bosom of the 
tranquil waters. The ship gently rose over the 
immense masses of the ocean, whose sweU is ever 
restless, let the calm be as dead as it will. Her 
sails occasionally flapped upon the masts, as 
any roU was heayier than the rest, and her taimt 
masts with their Hght rigging rose in grace 



Sl2 THE POET ADMIRAL, 

and symmetry from her decks. As Croiser stood 
on the gangway, viewing the scene around, the 
head of the foretop-gallant-mast became inter- 
posed between his view and the bright orb of a 
well-knovra star. He beheld it shedding its mild 
glories upon him, and a gush of emotion rose 
from his heart like the springing waters of a new 
found well. How ofteii had he gazed upon it 
when the delicate arm of Margarita was trem- 
bling within his own, and her soft eyes were 
beaming with a lustre as bright, yet subdued and 
heavenly, as that orb of Venus ! That . star ! Was 
it not that star which he beheld, when taking a 
last look of their beautiful paik, on deciding that 
he would see her no more? Was it not that 
star which he had beheld when lying on the 
taffrail of his vessel after leaving the sisters on 
the shore of Barn Pool — leaving them, as he 
thought, for ever ? Was it not that star on which 
he had almost nightly gazed since his departure, 
recalling the suppressed sigh which so often broke 
from the bosom of her he loved, as they contem- 
plated its beauty together ? It was all this, and 
it was dear indeed ! 

" How strange is life ! Still more strange is 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 213 

destiny!" thought he. " On how many events of 
my Hfe may you yet shine ! In how many situa- 
tions to come may I not behold you ? I may look 
up in tears — tears of bliss when the throbbing 
breast is too full even to breathe its happiness ! — 
or it may be in tears of agony and woe, when 
the heart is too obdurate to yield rehef by burst- 
ing ! To thee may arise the last glance of these 
eyes, when their dull orbs are glazing in the throes 
of death ! Your beams may glisten in the many- 
tinted dew-drops moistening the weeds upon my 
grave, or subtly penetrating through the Hquid 
crystals of the element beneath me, their green 
light may play around this form of clay, or shew 
the monsters of the deep where to prey on my 
remains, or perhaps, worse than all, they may 
yet find me in the possession of successful ambi- 
tion, covered with the baubles for which I am 
striving, tinsel and gUtter to the eye, eaten and 

cankered at the core, Uke like But I will go 

to sleep, there at least these pangs cannot assail 
me ! Quarter-master ? " 
"Sir!" 

" If any thing should appear in sight, or if a 
breeze should spring up, call me immediately ; if 



214 THE POET ADMIRAL, 

neither of these things should happen, call me at 
six. The hour proclaimed it to be midnight, as 
Croiser laid his head on his pillow. 

At two in the morning a dense fog gradually 
closed round them, and this state of things re- 
remained until six, when Croiser was called. 
Having been on deck about half an hour talk- 
ing to Nine-Fathom-Tim, whom he found taking 
his third dram and whistling for the wind, the 
latter remarked, " Well, your honour, I think 
this here diskiness is going to clear off. There 
seems to be a capful of air springing up here 
away in the norwest, and making a lane of it 
there." 

" Yes, Tim, the fog seems inclined to clear up, 
as you say, and good luck to it ! the sooner the 
better." Croiser looked in the direction pointed 
out, where the large volumes of the mist rolling 
away before the breeze, formed, as it frequently 
does, a vista for the eye to penetrate. 

"Why— holloa! What is that, Tim? It almost 
looks like a sail." 

" A sail! Let me look, your honour; ay ! to be 
sure it is, not three miles off neither ! " 

"Pooh! Tim, it can't be!" 



A TALE OF THE WAE. 216 

" Well, your honour, if your honour's aunt had 
been a gentleman, she'd a been your uncle, and no 
mistake about that, and if that there," looking at 
the object of dispute through the hollow of his 
hand, " isn't a sail, why my mother's a Dutch- 
man ; and that's not very likely, seeing she never 
went out o' her birtli-place, Portsmouth, 'septing 
once, when she got drowned in the harbour, then, 
as your honour knows, she went to Davy Jones, 
poor old 'oman." 

" Well, weU, Tim ! I beheve there's no fear of 
your imphcating your mother's birth after aU, for 
it is a sail, as you say — the fog's clearing off more 
rapidly. By Jove she shows a double tier of 
teeth! Come, come, look about; crowd all can- 
vass and put her before the wind, or stay — make 
no sail tiU I come up again, put her before it, 
and trim accordingly." Quickly descending to 
the cabin of M. Rannolini, and putting his hand 
gently on his shoulder, Croiser shook him, say- 
ing, " Now, then, monsieur, will you get up ? " 

" Eh! what! — is it you? Ah! Croiser, let me 
lie a little longer ! " 

" Not this morning, Monsieur. The breeze has 



216 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

sprung up and the fog clearing off, shows us an 
English line of battle ship almost on board." 

" Bah ! — no — is it so ? What did I say to you 
last night ? Go on deck, get ready for making all 
sail. I will be with you." In an instant M. Ran- 
nolini, whom this intelligence had immediately 
roused, proceeded to array himself with all the 
despatch in his power. 

In a few seconds, he was by the side of Croiser 
on tlie quarter-deck. Taking the glass, he looked 
long and earnestly at the large vessel which lay 
almost becalmed astern of them. " We must be 
off, and that instantly ! Make all the sail you can, 
Croiser ! Perhaps with the light breeze which 
is springing up, our little vessel may be able to 
distance that floating citadel. Fortune, thou 
might'st have granted me somewhat more of thy 
favour than this!" he continued, as if addressing 
that imaginary deity, while he still gazed on the 
man-of-war with a look of considerable apprehen- 
sion. " Come, come, Croiser, why do you hesi- 
tate ? We have not a moment to lose ! " 

" If I might presume to differ from you, I should 
recommend to your consideration a different course." 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 217 

" Speak then quickly ! what is it ? " 

" Simply this : it appears to me, and I know it 
from experience, that if we, by making sail, mani- 
fest a desire to get oflf, it will excite their sus- 
picions, whereas, if we coolly wait till they get 
near enough to hail us, or perhaps for me to go 
on board, my assiu*ance that we ai'e a privateer, 
or my displaying that document which I showed 
to you, would prevent the shghtest molestation." 

" No, no, I can't hear of such a thing ! Don't 
advise me to do so, Croiser. Never put yoiu'- 
self in the power of an enemy ! I have a pre- 
sentiment about Enghsh ships which I cannot get 
over. No, let us escape, which I am sure we can." 

^' Well, it shall be exactly as you wish, but I 
entreat you not to take such an alternative ! I 
know what suspicions it will excite, and if by 
any chance we should be captured,— if, for in- 
stance, a strong breeze should spring up immedi- 
ately, and we be chased into Plymouth Sound, — 
even my commission, powerfid as it is, may not 
altogether protect us from detection. In the other 
case, I know so well what are the questions 
which will be asked — I have been intercepted 

VOL. II. L 



218 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

in this way so often, that I am confident, if you 
will give the matter up to me, all will be well." 

" No, Croiser, I cannot; the thing is impossible! 
I never can voluntarily trust myself within the 
range of an English man-of-war's guns ! How 
can you expect it of me, when you know that 
they have boded me nothing but misfortune, and 
that I never came in contact with them but it 
was always attended with some disaster ? I can- 
not, I cannot, it is enough; would that every 
one of them were at the bottom of the sea ! " 
stamping his foot with impatience. 

" Well, General, as I said before, I am ready to 
obey your orders, but I am sure we only increase 
our danger by flight; whereas, by hoisting an 
English flag and lying still, I should merely be 
questioned, have to show my papers, and be al<^ 
lowed to proceed. Do, I beseech you, consider 
what is at stake, and fi'ee your mind from the 
thraldom of any presentiments that may now be 
deceiving you ! " 

" There is truth, Croiser, in what you say, to 
be sure," and Rannolini took one or two turns on 
the " quarter-deck, while a convulsive twitching 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 219 

was seen on his agitated countenance. It was a 
contraction of the mouth, tliat gradually passed 
from left to right, accompanied by a momentary 
elevation of the shoulder, on the latter side of 
his body. " In any other case I might perhaps 
act as you advise," passing liis finger along his 
high and ample brow, " but an English vessel — 
Stay ! Ah ! Croiser ! this is it," and his countenance 
instantly hghted up with all the fire of intellect, 
as he took Croiser by the ear, " they have shown 
no colours, neither will we — we are not forced to 
know an Enghsh vessel at sight. Let us there- 
fore make all sail: if they overtake us — we im- 
agined them to be French." 

" Excellent ! M. Rannolini, that will succeed. 
I'll crowd all canvass instantly," and Croiser step- 
ped forward to give his orders. In the course of a 
few minutes the schooner had every stitch of sail 
set which the present direction of the wind ren- 
dered available. 

The air came gently aft on the starboard quarter, 
from the S.B.E., while the hne of battle ship was 
two miles and a half astern and somewhat to 
windward. 

" At what rate do we go, Croiser ?" 

L 2 



220 THE POET ADMIRAL, 

*' Nearly six miles an hour, sir." 

" And how fast do you think those John Bulls 
are coming after us ? " 

" I can hardly say, from this distance. You 
see, only their lofty sails are drawing at this mo- 
ment. The feet of their topsails are hanging 
almost dead. Ah ! ah ! he sees our increase of 
sail ; see ! he is clapping on his top and topgallant 
studding sails ; he begins to suspect." 

" Yes, I fear me that he does. I begin to think 
all is not right — and yet it is a pretty sight, is it 
not? — or rather it would be, if we were not so 
situated. Oh Fortune ! Fortune ! " and the fo- 
reigner's countenance again assumed that expres- 
sion of intense interest, while he bent his brows 
with anger, as his eagle-eye surveyed the efforts 
of |his foe to catch him, though utterly uncon- 
scious of the individual contained by the little 
vessel which they were now chasing. 

" Shall we escape, Croiser ? I begin to fear, I 
say, that all is not right. Surely I was not prudent 
to set all upon one die. This was adventurous. 
Well, no matter, — to dare is often to win. Better 
to lose in daring, than to lose for want of it. Tell 
me, Croiser, shall we escape ? " 



A TALE OF THE WAK. 221 

" I have my fears, I must confess. You yee 
that line darkening the horizon astern of the 
seventy -four r" 

" I see it." 

" Watch it, you will observ^e it approaching, 
that is the breeze freshening up, and look ! already 
her topmast studding-sails begin to diaw, and so 
do the heads of her courses." 

" Hah ! here we have it ! " suddenly exclaimed 
Rannolini, tapping Croiser on the shoulder, as a 
vivid flash shot forth from her armed side, fol- 
lowed by a long volume of eddying smoke, that 
swiftly unrolled itself on the fog of the morning. 
The shot thus propelled was seen booming over 
the ghstening sinrface with vast velocity, in a di- 
rect line with their stem. 

" Croiser, take care of yourself, that wiU strike," 
said Rannolini, folding his arms on his breast. In 
an instant his face resumed its accustomed air 
of thought and composure, as if danger was but 
his natural element. Having bounded along the 
water, splashing up the foam at several intervals, 
its last leap finally pitched it beneath their lee- 
quarter, sending a cloud of spray in tlie faces 
of those who stood at hand. 



222 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

" Twenty-four pounds of good old iron wasted ! " 
said a gruff voice close at hand. Rannolini turn- 
ed round, and beheld Tarpaulin employing his 
rough hand to wipe off the moisture from his 
weather-beaten countenance, which nevertheless 
wore its usual grin. 

^' Look at that droll ! he reminds me of a bear 
washing his face with his paw!" remarked Ran- 
noHni, smiling at the rude tar ; then addressing 
him, " I suppose you're used to these gentry ?" 

" ' Used to 'em ?' " replied Tim, after Croiser had 
interpreted the words, " Aye, tell his honour, as a 
hen is to eggs ; though to be sure I'd a' rather 
see the dumb creeturs' shot sarved out before 
breakfast." 

" That shot," remarking on one that had just 
struck their taffrail, "was well aimed, Croiser. 
Two or three of those in your hull and we should 
soon " 

" Go to the bottom ! " added Croiser calmly, 
whistling for the wind. 

" Bah ! " returned the other, beginning to w^alk 
the deck again, while his former air of perplexity 
returned. 

" There go up the seventy-four's colours, M. 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 223 

Rannolini ! We must hoist ours. Let me im- 
plore you to consider this matter again ! As a 
sailor, I assure you escape is out of the question. 
We shall only incur tenfold suspicions by attempting 
it; besides, I strongly suspect that our enemy is 

the , one of the fastest sailing ships in the 

British navy. She was taken from the French at 
the battle of ." 

"'Taken at the battle of ,'" slowly re- 
peated Rannolini, while a more than wonted pale- 
ness overspread his countenance — " No, no," after 
a pause, " hoist no colours, and trust no enemy ! 
Let us proceed while we can." 

" Stand fr'om under your honour ! " roared out 
Tarpauhn, springing to the side of Rannohni, and 
averting from his head the fall of a heavy block 
as it came to the deck, followed by the main-top- 
mast, with a most tremendous crash. 

Startled at the sudden ruin spread around him, 
Rannolini jumped back. Scarcely could he credit 
his senses, when he saw that spreading pile of sail 
and cordage which so lately reared itself aloft, and 
drew the vessel on her course, now strewed before 
him ; part towing overboard, and the rest cumber- 
ing the deck, which presented one scene of con- 



224 

fusion. Casting his eyes upward in bewilderment, 
to discover the cause, he beheld the fore -topmast 
gently oscillate once or twice, and topphng over to 
leeward, fall under the larboard bow. 

Striking his hand on his thigh, as if doubting 
whether he was awake, his ear was saluted by the 
loud and approaching peal, which at once pro- 
claimed the cause of the wreck before him. A 
shot fired from the upper-deck of the seventy-four, 
had descended upon the Pearl, and after passing 
through and carrying away the maintop -mast, had 
so wounded the fore spar, that, unable to bear its 
canvass without the usual stays, it had fallen 
likewise. 

RannoUni turned to Croiser ; his features were 
unruffled, but in his eye there was an agonized 
look of disappointment that can neither be ima- 
gined nor described. 

The EngUsh ship still continued to fire, and a 
shot striking on the taffrail, a splinter wounded 
Rannolini in the hand. 

" I beseech you let me hoist our colours ! " said 
Croiser, and alarmed at the sight of his friend's 
blood, he ran over to him holding in his hands 
the haUiards to which he had bent the ensign. 



A TALE OP THE WAR. 225 

" Heayen grant that you are not hiut ! Consider, 
if your life should be lost !" 

" That at least is better, Croiser, than being 
taken. Tout est perdu, f or s la gloire ! " 

" Nay ! do for this once listen to me. I assure 
you our chance of detection is only doubled by 
this delay, but — " a splinter from a second shot 
now struck Croiser on the forehead, and he reeled. 
Rannolini affectionately springing up to his side, 
supported him in his arms, while Tim seized the 
ensign-haUiards, and looked to the foreigner for in- 
structions. " My poor Croiser ! " said the latter, 
stanching with his hand the ensanguined wound. 
" Fate is imperious — I have no alternative — up 
with the ensign!" and Tarpaulin comprehending 
Rannolini's gesture, gave the white ensign of Saint 
George to the wind. No sooner was its distinct 
character obsen-ed, than the firing fi'om the seventy 
four ceased. 

Croiser's wound was but superficial, and reco- 
vering fi-om the stunning sensation, he allowed 
Rannolini to bind it up, and proceeded with his 
duty, though the ruddy stream soon penetrated 
the fine cambric that sen-ed but poorly as a band- 
age. By this tune, the whole party firom below 

L 3 






226 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

had arrived on deck. The first object that met 
Margarita's eye, was Croiser without his cap, and 
his face and forehead in the state 1 have described. 
A scene of much confusion ensued, and having at 
length persuaded Lady Sapphira and her nieces 
to return below, under the assurance that the dan- 
ger was past. Tarpaulin was left to clear away the 
wreck, while Croiser descended to prepare for 
going on board the seventy-four, which he rightly 
conjectured he should have to do. 

Rannolini remained on deck, seemingly absorbed 
in his own mournful reflections, and scarcely as 
yet recovered from the effects of his surprise at 
the quick destruction which the enemy's fire had 
occasioned. Though accustomed to the sea, he 
had never before had an opportunity of witnessing 
a sea-fight. He had stood on many a bloody field 
and seen human beings mowed down by thousands, 
but there the havoc is more gradual. This morn- 
ing, but a few minutes had elajDsed since he beheld 
his vessel in all the pride of fight— and in the like 
space of time she was a captive to the enemy not 
yet at hand; like the fluttering bird which the 
reptile fascinates before he can reach ! It is true 
these things were in part owing to accident, and 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 227 

the superior skill of their present enemy in gun- 
nery, at that time rather unusual in the sea- 
service ; but these reflections were lost in the re- 
membrance of what he had always heard of the 
British navy, and tlie cori'oboration now afforded 
by this his first personal experience of it. Fixing his 
eyes on the fast advancing ship with a look of rage 
that was too deep for expression, he regarded her 
as we do those hideous monsters of the night, 
whose approach almost paralyzes our faculties, 
and excludes every hope of escape. 

Rapidly she came up with the chase, and her 
gleaming side was brightly reflected in the tiny 
waves, as she shot up on their weather quarter. 
She was now so close that the order could be 
heard to " square away the main yard," when her 
progress gradually lessened as she became nearly 
stationary on their bow. By this time Croiser 
had swathed his temples with a more fitting fillet, 
and having procured his papers, appeared dressed 
in the same costume as when he first appeared to 
my readers. 

" Hah ! you have that still ! " said RannoHui, 
turning and pointing with much pleasure to the 
splendid sabre at his fiiend's side. 



228 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

" Can you behold me aJive, and yet doubt that 
I should still possess what I esteem the dearest gift 
that I ever received ? " 

" Come ! thou hast taken great care of it. Those 
were more pleasant hours when I first had it. I never 
contemplated seeing it in such a rencontre as this." 

" Here's a boat, your honour, from that old 
grampus," said Tarpaulin, addressing Croiser, 
who hastened to the gangway to receive it. In a 
few minutes the seventy-four's barge was along- 
side, containing a lieutenant. Croiser now rejoined 
Rannolini, who stood with his arms folded on his 
breast, before the after hatchway. His friend hav- 
ing whispered one or two words in his ear, he 
said, " True ! " arid changed his attitude, clasping 
his hands behind him. 

" Where's the captain of this craft ? where's the 
captain ? " roared the lieutenant in a coarse voice, 
as he hurried up the side, and jumping on deck, 
looked round for the individual he sought. No 
answer was returned. " I say where's the captain, 
you long lubberly swab } " repeated the naval officer, 
in an imperious tone to Tarpaulin, against whom 
he raised his foot with the kind intention of be- 
stowing a kick. 



A TALE OF THE WAR, 229 

" Come — paws off," said the tar quickly, in a 
tone of anger, raising his enormous fist; " if I 
get a hold on the scruff o' your neck, I warrant 
you go down in thirty fathom ! " 

" Silence, Tarpauhn!" said Croiser. 

The lieutenant turned at the sound, and paused. 
He was about to address Rannolini, but there 
was something in the stem searching glance of his 
eye, that at once put his noisy effrontery^ to flight. 
Croiser was younger, and though the contempt 
so visible in his countenance was not very inviting, 
he addressed him. 

" I am sent to the captain of this craft. Where 
is he?" 

" I command this vessel, Sir. AMiat have you 
to say?" 

This cold politeness seemed very much to dis- 
comfit the lieutenant, who in boarding strangers 
had been accustomed to treat their commanders as 
one degree below their own men. However, 
making a strong effort to recover his assurance, 
he said, " My orders are to take on board H. M. S. 

every male who does not form part of the 

crew." 

" Have vou a written order ?" 



230 

" No ! " and the lieutenant seemed much sur- 
prised at the question. 

" Then you are aware I might refuse to go. I 
however respect the flag of my country, and shall 
not therefore offer any frivolous opposition; al- 
though I cannot say that my masts deserved such 
treatment fi-om English shot!" pointing to the 
wreck of his topmasts. 

Croiser having mustered all the males of his 
party, went down to assure the ladies of his 
speedy return. Then taking Rannolini aside, 
he begged him to leave every thing to his care, 
and that their detention would be very short. 
Despite of this assurance, there was an expression 
of anxiety on his face, that bespoke the foreigner 
to be ill at ease, as he descended over the side 
and took his seat in the seventy -foiu-'s boat. 

But a short time sufficed to bring them along- 
side. As they approached her gigantic hull, 

« 
Rannolini's eye ran over her bristling sides with 

the most marked attention. The order and neat- 
ness so evident in every part, seemed at once 
to excite his admiration and his anger. This 
close examination was redoubled on his reaching 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 231 

her gang^vay, proceeding up the side, where two 
bai'e-headed Httle negroes, held out the ropes 
for his support. At length he stood upon the 
quarter-deck, where he found a whole bevy of 
young officers composing the morning-watch. 

" Who are these ? Surely not officers ? " he 
demanded of Croiser. 

"Yes. These are the officers of the watch, and 
this one advancing is the first heutenant." 

" Bah ! and is this the uniform of the British 
navy? — of England, whose gold sways two-thirds 
of Europe ? " 

" No ! Tliese are merely their undresses ; they 
are not particular at sea ; besides, at theu* gayest 
moments they do not imderstand dress." 

'*' Nay, thou need'st not so gravely tell me that ! 
Croiser, it would be worth something to us, to 
get half a dozen of these creatures to exhibit at 
a review on the banks of the Seine. Why it 
would affi)rd gossip to the Parisians for a week at 
least ! They take more care of their ships at any rate 
than their persons," obser^'ed Rannohni, admiring 
the high order in which every thing appeared. 

" This is the captain, Monsieur." 

"Where.?" 



232 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

" Here, walking out from the after-cabin in a 
short and rough blue coat." 

By this time the whole of our party had been 
ranged in a line along the quarter-deck, Croiser 
and M. Rannolini being the last, that is to say, 
the nearest to the bow. No sooner did the cap- 
tain appear, than the whole attention of RannoHni 
was fixed upon him, as if to read in his coun- 
tenance the fate that awaited him. The seamen, 
attracted by the sight of the strangers, came aft to 
the break of the quarter-deck to have a peep at 
them; when one of the sailors remarked to his 
comrades, " I say, Jack ! Look at that fellow there 
with his arms crossed a-kimbo with a long brown 
Goat on, and a tail-on-end hat." 

''Well, what of he?" 

" Why, he'd do for Bonaparty." 

In an instant Rannolini turned round with 
evident alarm in his looks, at that name so 
bruited in men's minds; Croiser did the same, 
saying in an under tone, " Change your po- 
sition ! " 

This advice was instantly followed, and their 
attention was at the moment attracted by the 
captain, who addressing the first of their file as 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 233 

himself and first lieutenant walked along, ques- 
tioned them as though they had been his crew 
drawn up at divisions. 
" Who are you ? " 

" I, sir, am Captain Bombast of the Royal 
Navy," replied the marvellous traveller, who 
stood first, and was not particularly pleased at 
the unceremonious address. 

"Oh! Captain Bombast! I don't exactly re- 
collect the name. YouVe not served very lately 
I apprehend, sir?" 

" I beg your paidon, Sir, I had the honour 
of commanding the Bouncer, ten-gun brig, in the 
year 17 — , and that's only twenty years ago the 
day after to-morrow. I flatter myself — surely-— 
that — it cannot be altogether unknown to you. 
My travels — I had the honour of publishing my 
travels. Surely you must be acquainted with my 
travels ! " 

^ Can't say I am." 

" What ! not know Captain Bombast's travels 
and voyages in the Longbow Islands and else- 
where ? " interrupted Puff*. 

" Most astonishing," resumed Bombast, " when 



234 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

they were so ably reviewed in the United Anchor 
and Blunderbuss Journal." 

" Yes," again commenced PufF, " a very splen- 
did review, I do assure you, sir ; for the captain 
was kind enough to write it all himself." 

" Hush, hush, PufF," quickly whispered Bom- 
bast in an under tone. " So you actually don't 
know my name, sir ? Well, that's very astound- 
ing, as my dear Lady Sapphira would say. Yes, 
sir, I'm the author of the Travels to the Longbow 
Islands." 

" Oh, ehem ! ' Longbow Islands.' I take it 
they must be in the Irish Channel or the North 
Sea." 

" What, not know the longitude and latitude of 
the Longbow? I am astounded. Why, Sir, 
they're in ." 

" Well well, another time. Who may you be .^" 
passing on to the next. 

" Why, sir, like my most intimate and talented 
friend. Captain Bombast, I do feel somewhat 
surprised that such a question should have been 
necessary. I, sir, am Major Puff, of the United 
Anchor and Blunderbuss Journal." 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 235 

" Yes, sir, yes, allow me to introduce you to 
my most particular fiiend, Major Puff," inter- 
rupted Bombast, " in the luxuriance of whose 
pages you must have so frequently revelled, or 
would have, if you had met with them, since his 
productions only required to be read and admired, 
to insure him a vast renown ! " 

" Nay, captain, nay, sir, I really must blush, though 
to be sure it is highly gratifying to hear these kind 
things from one so eminently fitted by his im- 
partial judgment and varied attainments." 

"Ay, ay! "\Mio the deuce have we here? — 
that'U do," muttered the captain passing on. " Bad 
enough to meet these feUows on paper, much less 
in person." 

" And who are you, sir ? " 

" My title, sir, is the Reverend Nathaniel Sahs- 
bury. I am rector of Donomore, in the see of 
Durham, presented to me by his Grace the Duke 
of Daredevil, whose scarf I also wear as private 
chaplain. They call me Master of Arts at Brase- 
nose, and I draw my pay every quarter as chaplain 
of the dock-yard at Plymouth Dock. I came out 
on a party of pleasure, was becalmed and stan-ed, 



2S6 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

then kindly picked up and restored, and conse- 
quently not at all inclined to be imprisoned." 

" Imprison you ! What the deuce should I do 
with such a set of long-tongued fellows ? Well, 
and who are you ?" addressing Tarpaulin, who had 
been brought on board as Croiser's mate. 

He replied, gruffly, " My name's Timothy Tar- 
pauhn, called Nine-fathom Tim for shortness. I'll 
tell your honour the first and last of it." 

" 'Vast heaving, you may keep the first to your- 
self, and let me have the last as soon as possible. 
Do you belong to that craft ?" 

" I'm her first mate." 

" Oh, and who are you, sir ?" addressing 
Rannolini. 

" Enough, sir ! enough of this," interrupted 
Croiser, stepping forward. " These gentlemen are 
my passengers. I have the honour of commanding 
the Pearl schooner, and demand the instanta- 
neous release of myself and companions in this 
name " — 

" Then I'll be if you shall have it. Who 

axe you, I should like to know ?" 

" Read this, it will inform you, and make no 
rash assertion which you may not dare to keep ! " 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 237 

Rage and wonder struggled in the captain's 
mind at these words ; he hesitated whether he 
should deign to look at the slip of paper which 
Croiser had taken from his note-case, but the bold 
tone assumed by the latter, his evident rank as a 
gentleman, and the bearing so unusual in a mere 
privateer's captain induced him to peruse it. 

The contents appeared brief indeed, for no 
sooner had his eye nm over its few lines, than his 
manner instantaneously changing, betrayed the di- 
lemma in which he felt himself placed, as he stam- 
mered forth: "This mistake, sir, is — not — my 
fault, you should have shown me this before." 

" Well, well, sir, we will waive the discussion 
of that point, at present. You will put us on 
board again immediately, and send your carpenter's 
crew with spars to help us in repairing the damage 
you have occasioned." 

" Ehem ! ^Miy, sir, as to that — our car- 
penter's crew is but a small one at present, we 
have a good deal to do on board — I hardly know 
that—" 

" I presume you have read the whole of the 
paper now in your hand." 



238 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

" But can't you do without oiu: men ?" 

" Not without hindrance to the service on which 
I am engaged." 

" Well, then, if that's the case, you must have 
them. Mr. Squeegee !" turning to the astonished 
first lieutenant, " send these gentlemen on board 
their schooner again immediately ; and put the 
carpenters of the watch into the first cutter and 
let them see what spars are wanting on board 
that craft !" Then bowing stiffly to Croiser, he 
handed back the magic slip of paper, and turned 
towards his cabin. 

A look of extreme joy had lighted up the fea- 
tures of Rannolini, at this sudden deliverance. 
Using all the haste which he could, without betray- 
ing his apprehension, he descended once more into 
the boat alongside, where the others having re- 
sumed their seats, they were immediately rowed 
back to their own vessel. 

*' Croiser," said he, on receiving a translation of 
all that had passed, " what made you ask for those 
confounded fellows to come on board again } Why, 
in the name of Fortune, did you not let them go 
their own way and rid us of their company at once } 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 239 

Suppose they should take it into their heads to 
suspect, they may yet detain us ; whereas had you 
allowed them to sail away " 

" And what should we have done with our 
wounded masts ? Remember how much addi- 
tional time we shoidd have lost — you already com- 
plain on that score. Again, had they subse- 
quently suspected us, how easy it woidd have 
been to come back and catch us in om* present 
disabled state ! Besides, my demanding their aid 
inspires confidence, they know tliat document is 
not forged, and they dare not dispute it. ^Mlat 
should make them suspect r No, depend on it, 
sir, that the best plan has been adoj)ted, that of 
braving detection for a space, until they have en- 
abled us to refit, which will be accomplished by 
this evening, and then we can soon leave these 
gentry behind, when we have not to contend with 
their shot." 

" Well — well, we shall see ! Apparently we have 
escaped ! I think not finally. I have a presenti- 
ment on my mind." 

" What! the old story?" 

" Nay, Croiser, they never deceive me ! " A 
pause ensued, Rannolini appeared somewhat de- 



240 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

jected. " Tell me, Croiser, can you rely on this 
Sir Richard— Sal— Salos ?" 

" Sahsbury? yes, you need fear no detection 
from him." 

" Well, so much the better. It is odd that we 
should have been instrumental in saving his 
daughters — clever girls they are too ! That was 
a good stroke of fortune. It was your knowledge 
and report of him, that determined me to come 
to this port ; otherwise it is too far from London. 
He cannot suspect those who restore to him his 
children. But we shall see ! I like not this fore- 
boding. However, to dare well is often to do 
well. My detection would compromise more 
than ourselves, it might by some possibility com- 
promise even ! You say he made it an indis- 
pensable requisition, that no one should share 
our secret." 

" He insisted on that beyond all things. I was 
to receive your solemn vow and promise in writing, 
that you should not mention or communicate it 
to a soul, either now or at any future period of 
your life, or bring over any one but myself." 

" Well, he was right — that at least was indis- 
pensable — it shall be strictly observed. It is a 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 241 

point of honour ! I shall retire to my cabin and 
lie do^vn, while these Enghsh are on board. I 
leave the disposal of them to you." 

" You may depend upon me; I will call you 
when they are gone." 

Croiser, having allotted to each man his sepa- 
rate duty, superintended the whole himself, and 
by unremitting exertions, succeeded in repairing 
his damages by four o'clock in the afternoon, when 
he sent back the man-of-war's carpenters, with his 
compliments. The seventy -four had no sooner 
received them, than she made all sail down Chan- 
nel; seemingly very glad at getting rid of the 
Pearl, who now held her course straight for Ply- 
mouth, with a fair wind. Rannolmi being in- 
formed of this, immediately arose and came on 
the quarter-deck. Never had he felt more exqui- 
site pleasure than now, when his eyes feasted on 
the retreating sails of tliat tall ship, which, with 
every speed, was flying away ii'om such a prize ! 
His hour was not yet come. 



VOL. II. M 



242 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 



CHAPTER X. 

*' In dark relief, along th' horizon's verge, 

The coming tempest lifts the whelming surge ; 
The lone sea-gull foreboding, wheels on high, 
And mourns the mariner about to die." 

ANON. 

The wind rapidly increased, and in an hour 
the seventy -four was out of sight. 

" Now, Croiser," said Rannohni, " I am happy ; 
it seems my presentiment has indeed deceived me 
— and yet it was hardly one of confirmed ill, it 
was, if I may say so, more one of threatened dan- 
ger. Let us repair to the dinner-table." 

In accordance with this wish, they descended to 
the cabin. Dinner was served, and they were all 
busily employed in discussing the past and pre- 
sent, when Tarpaulin entered, " Your honour, it's 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 243 

come on to blow stiffish or so. It makes our 
young spars aloft there, crack again ! Shall we 
shorten sail.?" 

" How many knots by the log-line, Tim.?" 
" Eleven, or nigh on twelve, your Honour." 
" That's good ! Then you may take in the top- 
gallant-sails, and if the wind increases before I 
come on deck, you may have a reef in the top- 
sails." 

Half an hour elapsed. Dessert was putting on 
the table, when they heard the pipe, " all hands 
reef topsails." They could also distinguish the 
sounds that indicated increase of wind. 

" Come, Croiser," said RannoHni as usual, " let 
us take a walk and see what that Atlas of yours is 
about." 

" Very well. Monsieur, I am ready," returned 
the young captain. Having arrived on deck, they 
found the weather more boisterous than they 
could have anticipated. The wind, as the reader 
akeady knows, was from the s.b.e. Along that 
quarter of the heavens were piled large masses of 
dun grey clouds, which the rising wind whirled 
with great rapidity overhead, and fast as they sub- 
sided in the north, fresh volumes seemed to rise 

M 2 

4 



244 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

from their exhaustless source. A dull fiery glow 
was visible in the west, and indicated where the 
sun was declining with his hidden glories. A 
faint reflection of this light lingered on the broken 
crests of the waves around, now beginning to 
feel the influence of their sister element, whose 
hoarse whistling through the shrouds added to the 
sombre effects which the scene produced on the 
mind. 

" Come, Croiser, we have a fine breeze of it. 
Do let us make the most we can of Fortune's gifts 
— don't let that Goliath of yours take in too much 
sail ! With this good wind, we shall be in Ply- 
mouth to-morrow. Eh ! what think you of it ? " But 
Croiser was silent, a mode generally adopted by 
M. Rannohni's friends of conveying their dissent. 

Having taken the direction of the wind exactly 
by the compass, Croiser mounted one of the brass 
guns with which the Pearl was aimed. Carefully, 
and at some length, he scrutinized every appear- 
ance of the weather, nor could he have drawn the 
same deductions as his friend, since his looks ex- 
pressed doubt, and some little apprehension as to 
the approaching night. Then turning his atten- 
tion to the seamen on the yards who were reefing 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 245 

the topsails, " Haul your earings well out, Boys, 
and see they're properly secured," then in an under 
voice, " I've a fancy they'll be tried to night ! " 

Once more he resumed his examination of the 
horizon to windwaid. As he looked on a prospect 
he had so often contemplated before, a thousand 
associations of the past seemed to spring up 
within his mind. One scene in particular presented 
itself to him, as he muttered, " How well I remem- 
ber it! Twas just such a night as this! An 
awful night it was, but a prelude to one worse ! " 

"Ay, your honour, ay!" rejoined the gruff 
voice of Tim, Avho standing close at hand had heai'd 
his master's words. " I was just a thinking o' the 
same thing, and that's comical enough like. Twas 
an awful night, as you say. I'd rather not see 
such another, much more the one that followed." 

" Hah ! - you there, you old vagabond ? Well, 
hold your tongue. Fore and main top there! 
Take in another reef — and stand by to send top- 
gallant yards down. See that you're all ready to 
strike topgallant-masts." 

Croiser, having seen ever}- thing made pretty 
*' snug," joined Rannohni, who appeared to take a 



246 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

great delight in beholding his young friend carry 
on the duty, which he did with skill ; omitting all 
useless noise, but evincing the natural firmness 
and resolution of his character. 

" Come, my young Lord Admiral, if thou hast 
finished with thy ship, let us go down to the ladies, 
and enjoy a little vingt-et-un to-night, since we 
played an unwilling game of hazard this morning. 
Methinks, Croiser, thou art rather fond of Made- 
moiselle Margarita — she does not seem to frown 
on the suit of my young captain, either. Take 
care, my friend, of the passion ! Glory first, and 
love after ; the last is but by -play." 

" Come, come, I shall desire you to look at 
home. What think you the adorable Josephine 
would say, if she saw you cheating us all round 
with your roguish black -eyed partner night after 
night?" 

" Ah — good Josephine ! — she knows the world 
— she never distresses herself at these trifles ! 
Besides, thou canst not carry out the comparison. 
I have plucked m?/ bays, so now I may lay some pre- 
tensions to the myrtle wreath — but thou hast" 

" Nay, never pursue such a comparison, as one 
between us in pity to me — so let us descend." 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 247 

At eight o'clock Tarpaulin made his appear- 
ance to announce the rate at which the schooner 
was going — " twelve miles an hour." 

" How's the weather now, Tarpaulin .? " 

" Umph ! your honour, it's but husky stuff of 
it. Wind rises, and the glass falls. I reckon we 
shall hare enough of it before we pipe to break- 
fast again ! " 

" Does it look like rain coming on : " 

" Aj, your Honour, for all the world." 

" And more wind t " 

" Just so, your Honour ! " 

" Then close -reef the topsails and get a double 
reef in your fore and main-sails. Are we getting 
much of a sea on ? " 

" Yes, your Honour, it's coming down pretty 
strong from the sou'-east." 

" Then strike the top -gallant masts ; see the 
storm stay-sails all ready, and do whatever else 
you may see is wanting." 

" Ay, ay, yom* Honour, I was just a thinking 
there's o?ie thing "^ 

" What ? I suppose the look-outs ! — but haven't 
they been placed already .? " 

" Placed .? — ay, they're as firm as a chmxli ! No, 
I was just a-going to say, your Honour, as it looks 



248 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

as if we were a-going to have a little bit of squalli- 
fication, and may come to turn the hands up in 
the night, 'twould be as well if we splice the main- 
brace ! " * 

" At your old tricks, Master Tarpauhn. Well, 
be off with you, and see that you don't let them 
get too much." 

" * Too much,' your honour ? Umph ! your ho- 
nour's talking high Dutch," replied Tim, most dis- 
dainfully, as if such a thing was one of the im- 
possibilities of nature. 

" Wait an instant. Tarpaulin, Is there any 

fog?" 

" Is it that you ask, sir ? Fog, yom* honour ? 
You might chop it with a knife ! " 

" I don't at all doubt it," interrupted Bombast, 
neglecting his game. " Indeed, to say the truth, I 
brought home a piece in a white glass bottle from 
the Longbow Islands— you remember it, Puff?" 

" Most minutely, my dear Sir ! You showed it to 
me, you know, on your return, when we met abroad 
at — Cork — and I, as you know. Captain, I insisted 
that a description of it should be immediately in- 
serted in the Blunderbuss Journal." 

* A mysterious expression, known only in the free-mas(mry 
of the ocean, signifying an extra allowance of grog. 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 249 

" But bless my ideality ! Was it actual fog, Cap- 
tain?" 

" Actual fog, my Lady Sapphira." 

" In — deed ! ne — ver knew it !" 

" No, so I should think ! How should you r " 
interrupted Nathaniel. 

" Stuff, brother, it isn't that ! I don't in the 
least doubt that it was some condensed vapour — 
strangely calossified ; but what said the learned 
world to it, captain ? — that's my test ! " 

" Oh, my Lady, 'twas very much sought after — 
'twas very popular — Yes, that it was ! We never 
had an ailicle that was better read — for think, my 
Lady! that alone sold six nmnbers ! ! — No joke, 
you know, of our journal!" 

" Hear that varment ! " muttered Tai*paulin. 
" Shake me, if it doesn't \)\xt my pipe out : a plain 
fibber hke me stands no chance alongside him ! 
My nine-fathom story's nothing at all alongside 
o' his bottled fog ! — Well, your honour, have ye 
any more orders ? '* 

" No, Tai-paulin, only keep a sharp look out, 
and see that yom* men go to bed sober." 

" Ay, ay, sir," and Tim tmned quickly away, 
adding to himself, " that's one of the worst orders 



250 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

I ever heard given. What's a fellow fit for w^ho's 
dead sober ? " 

Anotherhalf hour elapsed — the bustle of shorten- 
ing sail was beginning to subside on deck, and 
Tarpaulin, in the height of his glory, was busily 
employed in distributing to each man his pro- 
portion of the rum and water just mixed — when 
suddenly a crash of spars was heard above, ac- 
companied by a cry from the helmsman on deck, 
and instantaneously followed by a shock that pro- 
strated every individual on the deck. In the state- 
cabin all was confusion — every chair round the 
card-table was overthrown and their occupants 
were struggling on the ground — the counters- — 
the cards — the money — appeared beat up towards 
the ceiling— the candles were rolling on the deck 
extinguished. Fortunately the lamp was sus- 
pended from above, and that, though violently jerk- 
ed, yet afforded them its light. Rannolini and 
Croiser were the first to spring upon their feet. 

" We have stranded!" exclaimed the former. 
" We've struck ! " said the latter at the same 
moment. Not an instant was to be lost. Croiser's 
first act was to spring to the bulk-head, where 
hung his sabre and his pistols; to sling the first 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 251 

round his waist, and gird on the belt of the latter, 
was the work of a few seconds. Then flying to 
a cabinet immediately at hand, he snatched from 
a secret drawer a square little leathern case, to 
which was attached a strap. Having flung this 
securely over his shoulders, and placed his cap on 
his head, he then paused one second. The confu- 
sion on the deck above was stunning, and the cry 
" WeVe struck ! " was echoed and re-echoed with 
a thousand difierent accompaniments of oaths and 
howlings, while the trembhng motion of the 
planks beneath, gave liim a hint not to be mis- 
understood. TuiTiing to Rannolini, who was 
also snatching his arms from the side, he cried, 
" Not a moment's to be lost — the ladies are our 
first care ! " and gently seizing Margarita in liis 
arms, he dashed on deck, followed by the foreigner 
with Charlotte. Every thing around appeared a 
wreck ; the sails were shivered into ribands, 
flapping and streaming in the gale, with the utmost 
noise and fury; the helm was deserted; the sea was 
dashing over the schooner's weather quarter; part of 
the crew were scrambling on the deck with such 
haste, that those below were only impeding one 



252 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

another in their progress; oaths and execrations 
were breaking from the eager and terrified men 
beneath, while such as had gained the deck 
were all hustled together on the bow, in an equal 
state of confusion. 

A speaking trumpet was always kept under 
the drum-head of the capstan. Croiser snatching 
up this in one hand, while he drew his sword 
with the other, begged Margarita on no account 
to relinquish her hold on his sword-belt, then 
rushing in among his men as near as he could 
without endangering her, he endeavoured to re- 
store that order which had been so unfortunately 
lost. 

"Every man of you to his duty! Pipe to 
quarters. Back — back here, every one of you to 
your guns. Where's Tarpaulin? — Tarpaulin!" 

" Sir, here I am," Tim shouted back from the 
forecastle, where his huge bulk towered above the 
rest. " Make a line here, you lubbers, and fall in 
at quarters. Come, move — don't ye hear the 
order.?" 

" Stand to your guns — once more, I say. The 
first man that hesitates, 1 cut him down. Captains 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 253 

of guns fore and aft — muster your crews ! Don't 
you hear the orders, you lazy hound ? Why don't 
you move ? " seizing hold of the first man at hand. 

" Oh sir, I'm the caq^enter ! " 

"Then aft to the well this instant: sound and 
see how much water there is — tell nobody. 
Bring the rod with you, and report to me on the 
forecastle. Fly I " 

By this time Tarpaulin had seconded Croiser's 
efforts, and something like order was restored; 
tlie greater part of the crew being at their guns in 
the same stations as those in which tliey go into 
action: a few were gathered round Croiser and 
Taq^aulin, who stood on the forecastle, where 
also were the party from below. 

"Where's the shore?" demanded Rannolini. 

" "\Miat is it we have struck, Tarpaulin r " 
inquired his commander with the first collected 
moment. 

" Hang me, yom* honom', if 1 know. I was 
below tending the tub at the time — some say it's 
a tarnation thief of a merchantman." 

" Yes, your honour," added another seaman 
at hand, " it's a lumping trader, sure enough — I 
saw her go down to leeward here." 



254 

" 'Go down'? that's not very likely, if she's so 
much larger than ourselves ! " 

" 'Go down'?" said a third, " no, your honour, 
no, she didn't go down — she merely drifted off to 
leeward there somewhere; — you'll be seeing her 
presently." 

" There!'''' they all exclaimed, as a flash of 
lightning darting from the shrouded heavens ap- 
peared to play round the wreck of some large 
vessel to leeward. 

"" I've a sounded the well. Cap tain. Croiser, sir 
— and there's nearly five feet in her! — the waters 
a' flooded the lower deck already, we're sinking 
like a pig o'lead ! " said the dismayed carpenter, 
who had run to bring this disastrous intelligence. 

" Hush, sir! — not a word — stand by me — ^ don't 
attempt to move a peg, or yield up the sounding- 
rod — lest I blow your brains out! — Tarpaulin, 
my lad, quick, jump aft, clap the crews of the 
four after guns to the pumps, and see that they 
work body and soul at them. Then take the tiller 
in your hand and steer as I give the conn — First, 
up with it hard a weather!" 

" Ay, ay, your Honour ! " growled Tim, spring- 
ing aft to execute his orders like a tiger on his prey. 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 255 

" Get ready, my boys, to fling a hawser on 
board as we bear down on that vessel to leeward," 
said Croiser to those around, his voice as calm 
as though no danger were at hand, while the 
increased sternness of its tone permitted none to 
hesitate in obedience. " Keep a sharp look-out 
for the next flash, to see where she is." 

" You're not a going to board her, sir ? " de- 
manded one of the seamen in a tone of consider- 
able apprehension. 

" Yes, to be sure I am 1 " 

" Why, sir, she's a clean wreck ! " 

" Pooh ! she's merely lost her topmasts." 

" Well, sir, if I may make so bold, I don't tliink 
she's a fit" 

" Silence, sir — if you can obey my orders, it's as 
much as you can do. So — there she is! Now 
we begin to pay ofi". Steady, — so — Tarpaulin, 
hard a weather yet. Now where is she .' " 

" Here, sh, very nigh, close aboard of us, on the 
lee bow." 

" Ay, ay ! Right your helm aft there. So — 
starboard, steady as you go. Sliip — ^ahoy!" 
shouted Croiser thi'ough his Uiimpet, at the full 



266 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

pitch of his powerful voice, while the clear dis- 
tinct tones were hurled along by the tempest. 

" Heighten your l^ey," said Rannolini, " it min- 
gles too much with the wind." 

" Sljip — ahoy ! " repeated Croiser in a shriller 
voice. All was silent on board her. A vivid 
flash of lightning broke from above, and revealed 
distinctly to their view a la;'ge black hull. She 
was low in the Avater, her mizen w^as gone, her 
maintopmast carried away in the centre, with the 
same spar at the fore entirely gone, the yards that 
still hung to the masts seemed on the point of 
falling, while her jib-boom, also carried away, was 
towing by its cordage alongside; streamers com- 
posed of her tattered ringing, and the strips of 
canvass yet adhering to the yards, were seen in 
every direction waving wildly in the gale. Not 
the slightest appearance of a human form was to be 
seen — with every fleeting moment she appeared 
to be gradually drawing closer to them. 

x'Vgain Croiser hailed, exerting his utmost ener- 
gies to be heard —" Ship — ahoy ! In the name of the 
king— answer; — or we'll^r^ into you?" then to his 
own nien,'^Castloosethisbow-gun. Here, carpen- 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 267 

ter, fly to the lower deck — see if the water gains on 
us ; don't be flurried, but maik it accui'ately, and 
come straight to me — begone! Have any of you 
heard her answer ? " adchessing tlie men around. 

" No, sir, there's httle fear of that !" gravely re- 
pHed the captain of the gun, shaking his head, 
while the sight of the approaching wTeck had 
bleached his features more effectually than all the 
preceding dangers. 

" Quick, now, none of yom- galley nonsense ! 
Ai'e you ready ? Fire into her then, or rather let 
it be over her, or in her upper works." 

" Bad luck to the hoiu:, sir," returned the sea- 
man, touching his hat with much diffidence, " it's 
no use firing into the Hke of her ; ye might as 
weU fight an action without shot." 

" ViThy — why } you old fool ! what d'ye think 
she's made of.? Fire — I say, on this instant, or 
111 do it myself." 

" Well, sir, I'm perfectly agreeable !" returned 
the seaman, pretending to misunderstand, and 
resigning the port-fii'e into his commander's hand. 

Croiser took it without a word ; quickly bending 
down, he ran his eye along the sight — " Elevate 
a little — and train to the right — so — out of the way 



258 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

— now ! " The flash which burst forth with its 
accompanying smoke, was swiftly rolled aside. 
The sailors beheld the shot dash up a jet of foam 
immediately before her. 

" That's into her, sure enough ! if she's to be 
touched with them things," remarked the seaman 
as he watched in vain for the slightest effect. 

" Hold your tongue, you dastardly coward! 
and get out of my way, lest I cut you into ri- 
bands!" 

" 'Coward' sir! I'm sony to hear that — I fear no 
flesh and blood, or any thing that's made by hands : 
— but I'll fire no gun 'gainst any thing of the other 
world, for that's sure to bring down bad luck ; but 
if your honour sees fit to cut me down, I'm very 
agreeable, that's in the way of duty, and after all 
'twould but be helping a poor fellow, belike, from 
a worse death ! " 

" Well, then, you're an old fool! so get away. 
Ah ! here's the carpenter. Well, how's the water 
on the lower deck ? Speak low ! " 

" Risen a foot, sir! — we'll be down in ten 
minutes." 

" Not a word more — move at your peril! M. 
Rannolini," continued Croiser, turning to the fo- 



V 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 259 

reigner, " we're sinking; we have no altemati^'e but 
to board this vessel, the crew of which I suspect 
have got tijDsy. Will you take charge of Char- 
lotte ? " 

" I have already done so," replied Rannolini. 

" Very good. Gentlemen, you must be pre- 
paired to save yourselves by getting on board in 
the best way you can. Who has charge of Lady 
Sapphira ? " 

" I have," answered Nathaniel, who supported 
her in his arms, she being senseless from hysterics 
that only added to the confusion. 

They were now within a few yards of the vessel. 
Determined to frilfil his duty to the last, Croiser 
paused to consider how he should act. It was 
his place to see eveiy one safe out of the Pearl. 
But Margarita — the feelings connected with her 
in this dreadful hour were bitter, yet inexpressibly 
dear — he would first see her in safety, and then 
execute his difficult task. 

" Here, my men, one of you take a rope round 
your waist and jump on board that craft!" He 
had no sooner given the order than ever}' man 
aroimd him slunk away. " The cowardly rascals ! " 
he muttered, stamping his foot as some indistinct 



260 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

expressions of " determination never to board the 
Flying Dutchman" revealed to him too truly what 
was the source of their defection. " Here, Car- 
penter, if you're not as craven-hearted as the 
rest — quick, slip this running knot round your 
body and leap on board." 

" I, sir ; Lor ! I'm a cripple !" rej)lied the man, 
shivering as if with an ague. 

Tlie peril was imminent. " Oh, you fools, to 
fly from shadows into actual danger — I must do it 
myself!" 

Within the space of a few seconds he had 
secured the fall of the jib-halliards to his body 
and sheathing his sword, had given the speaking- 
trumpet to Margarita to hold. She was stand- 
ing by his side. As he turned towards her, and 
beheld her there unshrinking in the midst of all 
this danger, her luxuriant hair streaming in the wind, 
while her pale face was visible in the homd gloom 
of the night, he half forgot his duty in the 
admiration of her patient courage. It was mo- 
mentary — the strange vessel was on the point of 
touching — all Margiee's attention seemed fixed on 
him ; he took her hand — it trembled not — he 
pressed it quickly and ardently to his lips, and 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 261 

holding her hght form securely in his left arm, 
prepai'ed to take the leap. 

" Stay ! " said Rannohni, placing his hand on 
Croiser's shoulder. "With the vessel tossing in 
this manner there is gi'eat danger; surely you had 
better leave Margarita here, until you ascertain 
if there's a safe footing } " 

An expression of anguish passed rapidly over 
Croiser's featm'es at this question. With her he 
could have leaped contentedly, had it been into 
the very jaws of death. There appeared but little 
chance of being saved — why then lose the bliss of 
dying in each other's amis? But there was a 
chance ; it was therefore his duty to give her the 
benefit of it : it would be selfish to do otherwise ! 
But she had heard Rannohni's remark, and yet 
she neither disengaged herself fi*om his embrace, 
nor relinquished the finn gi'asp which her right 
hand had taken of his sword-belt. Her head 
was still reclining on his shoulder — he looked in 
her face, saying, with much emotion, " Which 
do you prefer?" 

Death was before her — she had but little hope 
of escape — she was supported by one of whose 
devotion she had touching proof; and in her 



'262 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

heart there was a voice that pleaded no less 
tenderly for him. No wonder then, at that 
moment, the true impulse of her soul overcame 
the barrier of female reserve — her reply was 
scarcely distinct, as she murmured in his ear, 
" With you ! " Volumes could not have expressed 
more, or imparted greater delight. Drawing her 
still closer towards him, until her cold forehead 
touched his burning lip, he sprang away from 
the bulwark of his forecastle, just as the Pearl 
rose on the crest of a wave. 

Urged by every thing that can stimulate man's 
energies, his whole soul had been put forth with 
tliat exertion, so that he came with considerable 
violence against the main-shrouds of the strange 
wreck, the greater part of which yet remained 
standing. His first inquiry was if Margarita had 
been hurt. Fortunately this was not the case, as 
his form had been interposed in the contact. 
Quickly descending to the deck, which appeared 
totally deserted, he loosened the rope from his 
body, and made it fast to the vessel. For a few 
seconds he appeared to be contemplating a return 
to the Pearl. Margarita discerned his thoughts, 
and clinging once more to his arm, said, *' For 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 263 

Heaven's sake do not leave me, or if you must 
go, take me with you ! " 

" No, I will never leave you ! " he returned, as 
he reflected, "their cowardice obliged me to come 
first, I am therefore free to remain." Five minutes 
had by this time elapsed since he received the 
carpenter's report, according to which the Pearl 
had only a second duration of that period to float. 
Every second was a matter of life and death. He 
had instructed Rannolini, that on the instant 
when he beheld him safe on the sti'ange vessel, 
he was to knot the end of the jib-halliards — 
which he was to cut from the running part — to 
the hawser, placed close at hand. This being 
done, Croiser pulled it towards him, making it 
fast in-board. Springing up on the bulwarks, he 
applied the speaking-trumpet to his mouth — 
" Tarpaulin, ahoy!" — A few seconds elapsed. 

"Ay, ay, Sii-;" 

"Jump forward on the forecastle, and help over 
into this vessel all the passengers — lash your helm 
a-lee so as to bring her alongside, fling out a 
grapnel fr'om yoiu* quailer as a warp, and come 
on board here ever}- one of you — the Pearl is 
sinking I " 



264 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

Owing to the tumult which now raged, and 
Croiser being to leeward, only the first part o 
his message was heard, which Tarpaulin at once 
jumped forward to execute. Having hauled on 
the hawser so as to bring the Pearl's bow close to 
the gangway of the strange wTeck, Rannolini and 
his fair young friend, Charlotte, were soon got on 
board by the aid of Nine-fathom Tim. The Rev. Na- 
thaniel and Lady Sapphira were also transported, 
though with a little more difficulty; but the 
marvellous Captain and the wonderful Major were 
not to be found. 

Croiser having assisted in getting over Ranno- 
lini, appeared to view in his safety a release from 
half his dangers. " Where's the Captain, Tar- 
paulin? and where's the Major?" inquired he. 

" Tliey're not within hail, sir — the skipper, he's 
absent without leave ; and as for ould Pegs, he's 
stuck hard and fast, I don't doubt it, 'twixt some 
of the seams, for they begin to open." 

" Come, come, Tai-paulin, why don't you send 
over the ship's company?" 

Ay, ay, sir," replied Tim, not knowing that 
the order had been given before. He had just 
turned round to repeat it to the men, when he 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 265 

saw them coming forward in a body to the fore- 
castle, roaring out, '^ Cast her off— cut her adrift ! " 

" Come, my lads ! " cried Tarpaulin, " the 
Captain's a waiting for you on board, there, jump 
on board as quick as you can — first come, fii'st 
sen-ed." 

"*Jump on-board?'" returned two or three. 
" D'ye think we're so green as not to be up to 
Ould Nick? That's no ship that you see there — 
that's the Flying Dutchman, if ever Flying Dutch- 
man was seen. Cast her offi cut the tow — she's 
only sinking us by laying alongside — it's a trap of 
the Ould One to catch us aboard, and then go 
down!" 

Tarpaulin was astounded at their supersti- 
tious madness, and endeavoured to reason 
with them; but it was in vain. The report 
had been spread by those who fii'st saw her; 
terror, danger, and the terrific scene had unhinged 
their minds sufficiently to give it credence. 

The water was now gaining on them with great 
rapidity, the waves dashed over her with unceas- 
ing fiiry — her heavy hull laboured more and more 
over the billows, the motion of which occasionally 
buried her bow in water. Several of the crew, 

VOL. II. N 



266 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

intent on getting away from the fancied Dutch- 
man, had seized the tomahawks from over the 
guns to sever the hawser that still connected the 
vessels. One man had his arm raised to give the 
fatal stroke, when Tarpaulin seized him by the 
collar, lifted the offender clear off the deck, and flung 
him sprawling among the rest of his infatuated ship- 
mates, saying at the same time, " ' Vast heaving, 
you griffin — ^you and I's fish and fowl. I'd rather 
have a Dutch ship than none at all! Well my 
old shipmates, if ye won't come aboard, my advice 
is — ^lioist your boats out, and look sharp, for if ye 
do go to sleep over it, ye'U be slinging your 
cots to-night in Davy Jones's locker; and as to 
going there, why that's a journey I would'nt 
recommend to a young gTeyhound." Then turn- 
ing about, he took one step back, to put his vast 
bulk in motion, and in the next moment sprang 
through the air to fasten on the stranger's shrouds, 
like a cat— by all fours. 



A TALE OF THE WAR, 267- 



CHAPTER XI. 

A gallant bark hath left the bay, 
O'er trackless seas to roam ; 

And bounds along her watery way, 
Yet ne'er shall reach her home." 



FORSYTH. 



Tarpaulin had no sooner gained a place of 
refuge in safety, than he faced about, as if to 
take a final view of his tight little craft before 
she went down. While thus mouiTifully engaged, 
he heard the cry of some one on-board the sinking 
schooner. " Help me — oh help me ! Captain 
Croiser!" 

The men had cut the hawser adrift, and by the 
still continued flashes of lightning Tarpaulin 
beheld Bombast struggling through the crew 
on the forecastle, in order to get on board the 
stranger, from which the Pearl was just sepa- 
rating. Already she was two yards asunder. On 

n2 



368 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

seeing this, Bombast paused, uttering piercing 
cries for help, which it was impossible to afford 
him. 

Tarpaulin seeing his situation, hailed him — 
" Look sharp and run out along the bowsprit — 
your jib-boom's still foul of our fore rigging 1 " 

Taking this timely advice, he crept out as 
quickly as his almost forgotten seamanship per- 
mitted, and succeeded in reaching his destination, 
just as Puff, that Achates Jidelis, made his appear- 
ance on the forecastle, in still greater distress. 
The distance between the vessels was now of course 
increased — he was afraid to follow his friend 
Bombast; first, because his wooden member would 
be so unruly, and next, because, not having been 
brought up at sea, he was unpossessed even of 
Bombast^s small share of nautical dexterity. In 
this dilemma he stood with much lamentation — 
looking first at the bowsprit, then at the strange 
vessel — then feeling his pockets behind, at the 
same time losing each precious second that flitted 
in-ecoverably past, while the vessels continued 
to widen. 

This separation was still going on, and seemed 
likely to continue till it was too late to save him ; 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 269 

Tarpaulin therefore, extending his arms, bawled out; 
" Go it, old Pegs I now! Go it and jump over ; I'll 
catch you," at this moment the Pearl was lifted up 
on a wave — the opportunity was most favourable, 
in another instant she might fall off too far for the 
attempt. Mustering a momentary courage, he 
sprang, but his usual timidity overtaking him at 
the fatal crisis, it checked his career, and Tim with 
outstretched arms beheld him plunge into the 
trembhng waves beneath ! " Augh ! you'm a na- 
tural fool," growled the wrathful TarpauHn, 
shaking his fist at the unfortunate imbecile 
struggling below. Turning quickly round, he 
seized a coil of the stoutest rope which was hang- 
ing on the belapng pins of the mainrigging, and 
taking a close hitch roimd his \mst, he dropped 
himself into the sea at the peril of his hfe, since to 
a swimmer less expert and Herculean than himself 
such a course would have been instant death. This 
was not, however, the first time that Tim had been 
obUged to swim for his life in a gale of wind, and 
having perfect possession of himself, he managed ^o 
lay hold of Puff's coUai' just as he was setting off on 
that journey, which according to Tim's account, 
was not to be recommended even to ^a young 



270 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

greyhound/ He now hauled himself to the gang- 
way, and watching his time when she rolled over 
to leeward, he thrust his powerful hand into one of 
the clefts of the gangway steps, where his vast 
strength enabled him to maintain his position 
while she rolled to windward. 

Supporting his feet on the steps below, he now 
gave his burden a shake, saying, " Come ye ould 
Griffin ! look about ye ! Bear a hand up the side, 
and take care ye don^t go tumbling overboard 
again, for hang me if I pick you up." Much to 
his surprise, however. Puff neither moved nor 
spoke, so taking him in-board, he laid him on the 
booms. In doing this there aj^peared to be some- 
thing very heavy in the Wonderfiil Major's coat 
pocket. " Holloa! what have we here ?" said Tim 
as his eyes sparkled. " A prize by Jove !" pulling 
forth a long-necked bottle of Cognac brandy. 
" Come, this fellow's w^orth more than I .thought 
after all" — stowing it away about his capacious 
person. " Let's try the other tack. Holloa, missed 
stays ! No no holds her own all right !" and pull- 
ing a second from the other pocket, which as he 
stowed away, he muttered, " N(5w that's what 1 
call salvage ! It'll dry a fellow's wet jacket. What 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 271 

the deuce is this ? " taking out a brown paper parcel 
which he unwrapped, " bread and beef — in pickle," 
he added, seeing how completely it was soaked in the 
salt water. " Well, the old fellow seems to a know'd 
that he was going on a sea-voyage, he's vittalled for 
a blue water cruise — -very good stuff I dare say, but 
tisn't in my way — so I'll shove it into his after hatch 
again — I scorn to be dishonest. Let me see ! 
Shall I rouse the old boy ? Ehem ! that would 
look 'spicious-like — so I'll just turn him bung 
down, to let the salt water run out, and he can 
come to at his leisure — or stay though ! fair ex- 
change is no robbery, as I've repaid myself in 
his brandy, I may as well give him a drop of 
schnapps to comfort his kidneys. Here, where 
are ye, old Sal t " In answer to this self inquiry*, he 
drew forth that respectable lady of metal, and fill- 
ing a brimming cup, found no difficulty in pouring 
it down PuflTs tlu'oat. AATien convinced that it 
was swallowed, he turned the militia-man face 
downwards, sapng, " I wonder if the Griffin '11 be 
raw enough to let that slip out 'long with the 
brine ! If-so-be he does, it 'U sarve un right, 
for he must be a fool not to have any 'scrimination 
'twixt Dutch gin and salt water ! " and with this 



272 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

logical conclusion he walked off to the forecastle, 
where he saw Croiser and the rest of the passen- 
gers. 

As Tarpaulin went forward, he patted his hand 
over the bottle of brandy, mumbling after his 
manner, " Now that's what I calls a catch on a windy 
morning like this, with my poor ould grog-case, 
under sailing orders for Davy Jones. Ay, and 
as good a two hunner pounds worth of lace and 
toggery as ever a fellow stowed under his jacket — 
and all my spare rhino gone too — that's agen my 
grain, tho'f to be sure I'll make it up on the other 
tack some day. Bat as to my ould grog-case, that's 
a devil of a go surely, — that's a reg'lar pauler — I 
wouldn't have missed that for all the lace in 
Brushalls — I wonder if the old craft's gone down 
yet?" Quickening his steps as this occurred to 
him, he sprang up on the weather bulwark behind 
Croiser and the rest. 

Nearly ten minutes had now elapsed since the 
two vessels had been cut adrift, and Croiser was 
beginning to fear that the carpenter's fright might 
have deceived him respecting the state of the Pearl, 
and that he might have been precipitate in bringing 
Margarita and the others from a beautiful httle 



A TALE OF THE \\AR. 273 

sea-boat into what was almost a wreck. There 
was at this time a distance of at least twenty yards 
between the two vessels ; the flashes of hghtning 
still continued to reveal the Pearl's position, and 
to all appearance she was in much the same 
state as when they left her; the sound of many 
voices commanding, was borne distinctly to lee- 
ward. Presently it increased — it rose — ^became 
louder — more wild — more shrill, until it seemed 
to swell and gather into an agonized shriek, and 
then was hushed. 

" There she goes ! " said Croiser, who, \^-itli his 
hands clasped so as to afford a focus for his eyes, 
saw, or fancied he saw her tall and graceful masts 
fall gradually over to leeward into the deadly em- 
brace of the wild element beneath. Once more 
the electric flash poured its dazzling hght upon 
the bosom of the waters, and then they found 
themselves alone! Around them tumbled the 
surging billows in angiy strife with the gale sweep- 
ing over them, their foamy crests reflecting back 
the fearful fires of Heaven that in this dance of 
death skipped from wave to wave. But in all this 
scene, the graceful form of the Pearl of the Ocean, 
which had so lately swam there in all her pride 

N 3 



274 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

and beauty, was no longer to be seen. Her last 
voyage had been taken ! " full fifty fathom down " 
she lay, and scattered round her, the bodies of her 
gallant, but superstitious crew. 

Thrice the survivors waited for the return of the 
lightning to confirm their suspicions before they 
spokci " This is the realization of my present- 
iment!" said Rannolini, mournfully, laying his 
hand on Croiser's shouldet. 

" Too true!" returned the latter with consider* 
able emotion, in French ; then adding in his native 
tongue, "Poor fellows, they*re all gone! — and 
— amongst them, one I have valued for years, 
honest old heart ! " while a tear glistened in his 
eye. " I would not have lost him for the bright- 
est jewel in England's crown. Poor Tim — ^poor 
Tarpauhn — he's gone too!" 

" Urhm ! " blubbered some gruff Voice from be- 
hind, " but, axing your honour's pardon, he's not 
so green as to leave a good skipper for Davy Jones 
on such a windy morning ! " 

At those well-known accents, Croiser instantly 
turned his head, and to his inexpressible joy all 
his fears were dispelled. It was indeed Nine-fa- 
thom Tim ! Past and present dangers were for* 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 275 

gotten. Thrusting forth his hand, he seized that 
of his old shipmate, saying, " What then, you old 
vagabond, you're really here — and how have you 
managed to escape ? " 

" Pretty well, your honour! pretty well, thank 
ye ! " returned Tim, aflfected with the kindness of his 
captain, " all things considered ; 'septin ye see, 
your honour, IVe lost my ould grog-case ! " 

"What— Sal?" 

" No, no, your honour! Not so bad as that nei- 
ther! No, my ould case what your honour re- 
members was made out of the Pomony* by my 
ould messmate Bill Shakings. He was cast awav, 
poor chap, off the coast of Africky ! "' 

" W^ell, well, Tim, if that's all, we can give 
you a better one when we get ashore.'' 

"Ay, ay, yom* honour, behke you'll give me 
a better one, or a gold 'un for the matter o' that ; 
but it won't have been made by Bill Shakings, nor 
have been with me calm and squall, high or low, 
nor have kept my old mother's tea; for ye see, the 
good 'oman used it as a tea-chest for many's the 
long day, when I left it, hke the Dutchman's an- 

* Pomona. 



276 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

clior, at home, till, as your honour knows, she 
set off. to Davy Jones from Portsmouth harbour 
one cold morning — let alone beside all this, having 
held more rale good licker than ever I shall drink 
agen — more's the sorrow ! Will your honour have a 
drop o' something short this could morning?'"' proffer- 
ing a dram of spirit in the top of his " Sal Moffat." 

" Not now, thank ye, Tim." 

" Urhm — that's bad iillossify in your honour!"" 
tossing it off himself; then pausing gravely, while 
he knit his brows, " but after all, I'm a thinking 
'tis som'hat hard-hearted to be piping about an 
ould grog-case, when there's so many a brave chap 
gone down in our tight little barkey to windward. 
— I hope old Davy's given her a snug berth below, — 
who measured five foot ten, if not some inches 
more, — especially seeing I've got my dudeen here 
all safe, to blow a cloud with," taking off his hat 
and viewing with great satisfaction tlie blackened 
little stump of pipe that never quitted its station. 

" Come, come, Tarpaulin, it's no use looking 
out for the poor Pearl — she's gone ! " 

" Ay, your honour ! that's as clear as mud in 
a wine glass, and bad luck to the saying of it!" 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 277 

" Well then, let's look about us, I dare say we 
shall find the crew of this craft all below as tipsy 
as thieves." 

" Why as to that, your honour, I think they've 
desarted the poor vessel; for any how it seems 
theyVe hoisted out the boats ! '" 

Croiser started at this observation, and turned 
to Margarita to inquire how she felt. Tlie latter 
did not speak nor raise her head fi-om his shoulder, 
where, covered vrith her hands, she had hid her 
face, so as not to see the sinking of the Pearl. 
Croiser began to be alanned, though he could feel 
the pulsations of her heart as it throbbed near his 
own. "Margarita — dearest Margarita I " She looked 
up, and Croiser inquired, " How are you, Marga- 
rita ? Are you cold or wet r " 

" Nothing to signify, I thank you ; though I should 
be very glad to go below, if it be possible ! '' 

•' You shall do so immediately. I will get down 
and assist you to do the same." 

Having placed Margaiita in safety on the deck, 
he turned to Ramiolini. " I fear we must make 
the most of what the Fates send. Suppose we go 
below and examine the cabins ? The ladies once 
disposed of, we must see aa hat can be done to- 



278 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

wards making some sail on this hulk, for we have 
a fair wind." 

" Thou art right, Croiser ; it is on action that 
we must rely. We will descend. Now, Made- 
moiselle Charlotte, suppose we go below ? " 

" Ah Captain Croiser ! there is always a great 
deal of sense in your remarks," chimed in Bom- 
bast; " it can be no manner of use our staying 
up here, in such a gale: never saw such a gale 
since my passage home from the Longbow Is- 
lands ! A most disastrous affair this ! most dis- 
astrous ! To think of poor Puff being lost too — 
and all through his own timidity. But Puff, it 
must be confessed — though in other respects a 
very good fellow — always had weak nerves. And 
the United Blunderbuss Journal too — well I sup- 
pose that I must take the editorship of that my — " 

" No, that I be whipped if you shall, Captain 

Bombast!" sputtered forth the Wonderful Major, 
at this ill-timed moment, starting up from the booms 
opposite to which the captain now stood. He had 
recovered his senses, and was marvelling how he 
came to be in his present predicament, when he heard 
his name and fame assailed by his dear friend, and 
sprang up at once to defend them. " You most 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 279 

ungrateful slanderer — thus to — to — attack me when 
I'm dead — or rather that's to say when you thought 
I was dead ! I to whom you owe so much ! I 
who've said so much more in your favour than you 
ever deser%^ed. I who have paid you sliilling after 
shilling for your twice-laid articles that were no* 
thing more than a day's log at the first. I, — I say 
who have allowed you to write puff after puff, and 
criticism after criticism on your own exaggerated 
works — to call me, sir, a man of weak nerves ! 
It's a falsehood, su', you know it! I'm not of 
weak nerves ! " 

" Of weak nenes ? No, Major ! he should have 
said of weak understandrag," interrupted Chai'- 
lotte, as Puff in his hurry to approach Bombast, 
pat his wooden member through one of the holes in 
the waist grating, and shd down like a man on 
one knee, while the manellous captain startled at 
this sudden resurrection of his '' dear friend," took 
to his heels round the forecastle, firmly believing 
that it could be nothing less than Puff's ghost 
This incident haWng temjDorarily diverted the 
gloom of the party, they raised the mihtia-mau 
from his state of abasement, and endeavoured to 
assuage his wrath by showing him the folly of 



280 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

expecting in this world to meet with " a friend" who 
would not take every opportunity of calumniating 
him when his back was turned, whether in death or 
otherwise. 

Having in some sort reconciled this worthy pair, 
or at least neutralized the effects of their anger, 
tliey proceeded on a voyage of discovery beloAv; 
Tarpaulin went down the after hatchway first. 
He had not reached more than half way to the 
bottom, when he started back, exclaiming, " Hol- 
loa! why w^hat's here? Stand back, Captain 
Croiser, till I see what's the matter ! " Tarpaulin 
then descended to the deck below, merely put his 
head under the hatches, and then instantly re- 
turned to his commander. His face, had there been 
sufficient light, would have foretold some new 
disaster; as it was, the solemn change in his 
voice startled his young commander, who even 
then was not prepared to hear Tim's sad intelli- 
gence. Speaking in a whisper, lest it might frighten 
Margarita, he said " Save us, your honour ! we've 
jumped out of one mess into another; this rip of a 
vessel is water-logged— she's got three feet of salt 
brine on her deck below. I don't expect she's a 
clear half-hour to live ! " 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 281 

Croiser remained silent — he was petrified with 
the sudden blow which this gave to all his hopes. 
Better to have perished in his own vessel, sur- 
rounded by his gallant crew, than have come here 
to meet a worse, because a more hngering fate 
with the additional horror of having seen all his 
comrades go down within hail — of ha\'ing heard 
their last death agonies 1 

'' What does he say r" inquired Rannolini, who 
had seen Tarpaulin communicate something to 
his commander, and had witnessed its effect. 
Croiser briefly repeated it. 

" Bah ! this is unfortmiate —I had thought the 
worst was past! ' Three feet of water,' say you.^ 
Then she must soon go down. To think of being 
dro^Tied in such a tub of a vessel as this I Is it 
not annoying ? AYell come, there's no time to be 
lost. It is our duty to do all that is possible. 
"^Tiat say you ? — you have had a naval education 
— what step ought we to take?" 

" Alas ! I scarcely know — her boats are all 
gone." 

" Well then, it is clear we have nothing to 
which we can trust, except a raft. Let us set to 
work this instant; and do thou, Croiser, spur 



S82 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

Up those imbeciles, and make them useful for 
once." 

" What is the matter, Captain Croiser ? " in- 
quired Margarita, alarmed at the secret conver- 
sation between him. Tarpaulin, and Rannolini. 
" For Heaven's sake tell me all ! I can bear any 
thing better than suspense. Are we in the hands 
of pirates ? Are any poor people killed below ? " 

" Defend us ! " exclaimed Puff and Bombast 
starting back from the hatchway— "' killed'? — 
what ! people murdered below } " 

" No, gentlemen, you have nothing of that sort 
to fear." 

Croiser then informed the ladies of the melan- 
choly fact with as much delicacy as the case 
permitted, and offered them all the consolation 
which it was in his power to bestow. 

Lady Sapphira was in a state that did not 
allow her to understand anything, and the cynical 
Nathaniel found it as much as he could do to 
take charge of her. On Charlotte this sudden 
reverse fell heavily, and again checked those 
buoyant spirits, whose rise was instantaneous on 
the disappearance of the imminent danger which 
before threatened them. She was unable to view 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 283 

with composure, this fresh aud still more temble sum- 
mons from the bright gaieties of hfe, when seemingly 
on the point of being restored to them, and was there- 
fore considerably affected by it. Rannolini endea- 
voured to soothe her with all that kindness which was 
so natural to him, and undertook the charge of the sis- 
ters while Croiser set to work with his companions in 
forming a raft. Margarita was still herself; her hopes 
had not been extravagantly raised, neither were 
they now depressed. She viewed her approaching 
end with the same unflinching calmness that 
she had evinced under the agonies of starvation, 
while a secret pleasure reigned in her heart 
at being in the society of him she loved. While 
his figure was suflSciently near, it was on him that 
her eyes were fixed, when his duty called him 
to another part of the deck, it was his voice that 
her ear was strained to catch. 

Croiser's first step was to muster his force : it 
consisted of Tai*paulin and himself, Bombast, 
Puff, and Garnet, who had been sufficiently free 
from superstitious terror to follow the passengers 
from the sinking vessel. Ever}' thing depended 
on their activity, and on this night it was put to 
the severest test. 



284 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

" Tarpaulin, my boy ! " said Croiser, " have 
you your knife about you ? " 

" Have I my head on my shoulders, sir ? " 

" Yes, and it's nearly as thick as your steel ; so 
turn to and cut adrift these booms on both sides 
for your Hfe. See that all the spars are clear of 
any lashing to the deck, which can drag them 
down when the old craft founders. Then take all 
the lai'gest, such as the spare topmasts, topsail- 
yards, and studding-sail booms, and pass a 
secure lashing athwart them all, in half a dozen 
places. While you're doing this, . Garnet and 
myself will lash these dozen spare oars at top and 
bottom, to keep them from coming together. You, 
Captain Bombast, will be kind enough to unstow 
all the hammocks from the nettings, and bring 
them to us; while Major Puff will unship all the 
waist and quarter-deck sky-light gratings, and 
convey them here. If you move yourselves 
quickly, we may yet form a raft that will stand 
the sea, before she settles dowai." 

Inspired by the master-spirits that directed 
them, the subordinates fagged with the energy 
of men, who, on the brink of destruction, can yet 
discern some chances of redemption. Rannolini 
with his fair protegees, stood under the lee of the 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 285 

mainniast, viewing the work as it proceeded just 
before him, and from time to time pointing out 
any improvement that his universal genius sug- 
gested. 

Half an hour had elapsed, the work was pro- 
ceeding Tsith uninterrupted ardour, and though 
the vessel had evidently sunk during that period, 
yet the slowness with which the water gained on 
her hull, gave them increased hopes of finishing 
their raft. 

" Courage, my Croiser! Courage! Nothing is 
absolutely denied to perseverance. How art thou 
getting on at the other end ? It is so dark that I 
cannot see ! What is my old Atlas about ? ^ 

" Oh, he is working bravely, we have secured 
all the longitudinal spars together, as weU as the 
layer across : over the latter you see we have 
lashed these small gratings, they come in capitally 
to form a continuous platform. Luckily for us they 
have left their painted canvass boat-cover behind 
them, and that, together vriih. the boom cloth 
spread over the gi'atings, will keep the water from 
penetrating beneath. Above will come this layer 
of junk, and over all will be laid the bedding fi'om 
these twenty hammocks, the blankets and canvass 



286 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

of which will keep us pretty well sheltered from 
the cold!" 

" Come, come, this is famous ! Who would 
despair when so much may be gained by exertion ? 
Croiser, thou wert born to command a fleet ! 
But it strikes me, that if yonder thick rope," point- 
ing to the mainstay, " is allowed to remain, it may 
come across our raft and drag it down ! " 

" True ! Tarpaulin shall cut it away. Tar- 
paulin, do you jump forward presently and cut 
away the main and main -spring stays !" 

" Ay, ay, your Honour, just wait a bit while I 
put a few finishing stitches into this matter forward 
here. I'm just a seizing the bedding down, and 
when that's finished, we may clap on your tinpot 
faces at the worst of it." 

The moment at length arrived when it was 
finished. Croiser having gone round and minutely 
inspected every part, returned with the utmost 
joy to announce to Margarita that it was now ready 
for the reception of those whose lives were to be 
entrusted to its stability. 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 287 



CHAPTER XII. 

•' Now would I give a thousand furlongs of sea for an acre of 
barren ground : long heath, brown furze, any thin^ : the wills 
above be done I But I would fain die a dry death — Speak to the 
mariners, fall to't yarely." 

TEMPEST. 

The reader must not suppose, because I have 
gone on describing very quietly the progi'ess of 
this invention, that it was accomphshed under 
favourable circumstances ; on tlie contrary, the 
wind, though not so violent as it had threaten- 
ed to be, still lashed the waves around them into 
considerable fury, so that the latter often broke 
over the deck where they were. For the last half 
hour also, a drizzling rain had come on, though as 
Tim remarked, '* It wasn't necessar}* to their safety 
or comfort, since the spray was enough to wet a 
man through to the hone'' In consequence of 



288 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

this, he had himself indulged in one or two po- 
tations from the lady of his lips, and had advised 
his commander " to sarve out an extra allowance 
of grog to the young ladies abaft, as well as to that 
Johnny Crappo ; who to be sure — bating that he 
was a Frenchman, — was a gemman every inch of 
him." 

Besides this attention to their wants, Croiser 
had also wrapped a couple of blankets round the 
persons of each of the ladies, when the hammocks 
were first unstowed. They now took their seats 
on the raft. The sisters were placed in the middle, 
Rannolini still by the side of Charlotte, and Croiser 
by that of Margarita ; Lady Sapphira and Na- 
thaniel before ; Tarpaulin, Garnet, Bombast, and 
Puff behind. In this way they sat for some time, 
talking as well as the incessant roar of the elements 
would permit them, until Tarpaulin seeing that 
" the young ladies" had some difficulty in ad- 
justing their temporary mantles around their per- 
sons, begged pennission to act in the capacity of 
habit-maker, and producing his case of sail-needles 
from some of his capacious pockets, soon sewed 
the sides of two blankets together, so that they 
were then large enough for a convenient cloak. 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 289 

Having lent a needle to Croiser, and another to 
Garnet, the whole party were soon equipped with 
the same rough but serviceable habiliment. 

" Well done, Tarj^aulin !" said Croiser, "that 

was a good idea of yours, what" 

" Here we go ! Hold taut, my lads ! " interrupted 
Tarpaulin, giving the note of preparation as the 
sudden rush of water up the hatchways, proclaimed 
the vessel on the point of sinking — a tremendous 
sea at that moment struck her on the bow, and 
while it poured its volumes of water with resist- 
less fury along her decks, she trembled violently 
for a few seconds, the water bubbled up from be- 
low, and her bulwarks gTadually settled in the 
waves, which now broke over them, and presented 
on every side a ridge of foam that frothed and 
swelled around the raft floating in the centre. 

No sooner did Lady Sapphira feel the water 
rushing on her in all directions, and comprehend 
the instant peril which that scene so plainly be- 
spoke, than she uttered the most piercing shrieks. 
These terrified Bombast and Puff to that degree, 
that they joined in them ; ]\Iargarita and Charlotte 
were silent, and contented themselves with cling- 
ing to those who had undertaken to be their pro- 

VOL. II. o 



290 THE POET ADMIRAL, 

lectors, while Garnet and Tarpaulin prepared to 
execute any orders which they might receive, and 
bent all their attention to the difficult part they 
had to play in getting clear of the foundering hull. 
This state of things lasted for two minutes, and 
when the first excitation of the moment had sub- 
sided, their extreme surprise was called forth by 
the fact of the hull not having sunk — there she 
remained in statu quo — her deck completely 
flooded, and the sea breaking over her hammock 
sails ! Now she rose a little, again she sunk. 
'' Now then she's going!" No — once more she 
rose, this lasted for five minutes. 

" Well, I begin to think them fellows had some 
sense in them after all," said Tim. "This may be 
a Dutch ship, but she isn't an English one to be 
so much afeard of the bottom ! " 

" Oh!" replied Garnet, " she'll go presently. 
Don't be making yourself unaisy, Tim ! May be 
there's some air confined 'tween decks, that's keep- 
ing her up ! " 

" Ay, ay, very likely ; may be as you say, the 
ould lady's got the wind — or the colic for any 
thing 1 know — with so much salt water, like 
enough — this I know, if she hasn't I have — will 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 291 

ye have a drop of something short, Bo, till this 
craft makes sail and leaves us a little sea-room ? " 

"Come, Master Tarpaulin," said Croiser, "do not 
keep all that to yourself; but hand a httle here." 

" Ay, ay, your Honour, you may take my word 
for it this is the very best of companions on sich a 
voyage of discovery. Here, your Honour, here's 
a bottle of brandy." 

" T\Tiy, I do declare that's one of mine," inter- 
rupted Puff. 

" One of your's ? Pooh, how should it be one 
of your's, when you've a been overboard ? Didn't 
I see your cargo chop out as I hauled you up the 
side?" 

" Did it ? How provoking ! " 
"Oh, yes!" added Bombast, "Tarpaulin says 
what is quite correct, I saw them fall myself." 

" Well, well, gentlemen, these are minor points, 
here it is for the good of us all. Taq^auhn, lend 
me your little cup." This being rinsed, it was 
filled with spirit, and given to each of the ladies, 
then to Rannolini and the rest of the party. 

" Surely, Croiser," said the foreigner, " it is 
very odd that tliis vessel does not sink — most sin- 
gular; I cannot make it out. Stay, my friend, 

o 2 



292 

I have it. Of what is her cargo composed? 
Surely she must be a timber ship ! " 

" You are right! by Jove you are right! That 
must indeed be it: and now I think of it, she 
bears every exteraal appearance of being such. 
Tarpauhn, my lad, give us your opinion on the 
subject. This gentleman says that the cargo be- 
low must be timber, and that's the reason she 
doesn't sink ! " 

" Ilah ! He does — does he, your Honour ? " 
answered Tim quickly. " Then tell him, with my 
sarvice, he's a knowing chap for a Frenchman — 
to think of his having found that out first! That 
goes against my grain — why, your Honour, you 
and I have been asleep ! But he's right after all ; 
he's right! She is a timber-hulk by her build. I 
thought she was very long in the waist for an 
ordinary trader." A few minutes more of reflec- 
tion convinced them that they were connect in 
their conjecture, and this being the case, it was 
incumbent on them to pursue another course. 

Croiser now saw that Rannolini's advice as to 
forming a raft, had been the most connect that 
could possibly have been offered, since without it 
they would have been unable to have kept their 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 293 

feet on the upper deck, over which there was not 
unfrequently half a fathom of water. Even as it 
was, they were completely drenched on the raft, 
and by the extreme motion of the vessel the water 
constantly flowed over it, and sometimes dashed 
it against the waist bulwai-k, with a force that 
threatened to cany all before it. To prevent this 
some more ropes were cut away from what re- 
mained of the rigging, and were made to ser\e as 
gilguys that kept the raft in its place. They were 
now pretty sm'e that they could not go down, 
unless their surmise as to the nature of the cargo 
had been incorrect; and inspirited by this convic- 
tion, Croiser drew upon the abundant resources 
of his invention with redoubled ardour. 

" What does not now depend upon me } " said 
he internally. " Think on Rannolini ! Think on 
Margarita!" also whispered his heart. "Think 
that her gentle form, still weak from her recent 
sufferings and privation, is now exposed to the 
inclement blast, and the relentless fury of the 
waves ! Think what a claim on her young heart 
to have saved her from such a fate!" — it needed 
not to think of more. He sprang up from the 
raft, saying, "Come, Tarpaulin, my boy; and 



294 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

you also, Garnet, let us see what we can do 
towards getting this old log under some sail. By 
the dead reckoning of yesterday noon, as well as 
by observation, we cannot be so far off from our 
port." 

" I'm glad to hear it, your Honour ! for I think 
myself weVe a had enough o' this for a change. 
Come, Garnet, bo, jump up, and mind to hold 
your own as you go about these decks, or you 
may soon be whipped off! As for me, you 
know this is nothing to a chap that's stood for 
hom's in nine fathom of water, and not enough 
to drown him after all ! " 

" Tarpaulin, do you take the eye of the main- 
stay, the lashing of which you cut away some 
time since ; go forward with it, and lash it to the 
starboard bow-port. Garnet, do you take the 
spring-stay, and do the same on the other side; 
while I stitch two or three of these hammocks on 
a bolt-rope for a sail. Tarpaulin, lend me your 
neddles and twine." 

" Ay, ay, your Honour ! here they aie ; but 
please to have a care how your honour expends 
them, as we haven't uncle George's stores in the 
yard to draw upon." 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 295 

The men then set to work on their appointed 
duty; this finished, they returned to help Croiser, 
and in a short time the fore-yard was secured, 
and four hammocks, two on each side of the 
mast stretched out to catch the gale. This ac- 
comphshed, they had recourse to the same ma- 
noeuvre on the main-yard, as soon as they had 
succeeded in getting her head before the wind. 

In gales such as the one which is here de- 
scribed, it is almost inconceivable to the mind of 
a landsman how ships under bare poles — that is, 
without sails — should be propelled at the pro- 
digious rate at which the}^ have been known to 
go ; instances are on record of its having amounted 
even to fifteen miles an hour. In a case like the 
present, however, where the ship was not built 
for fast sailing, and the circumstance of her being 
water-logged made her he so low in the water, it 
could not be expected that she would go at a 
greater rate than seven miles an hour, even with 
her eight hammocks set as sails; they were there- 
fore much delighted when Croiser was enabled by 
seeing the velocity wdth which the water flowed 
past them, to announce that such was their 
speed. 



296 THE PORT ADxMIRAL, 

The binnacles were yet left on deck, and one of 
the compasses still fit for use; Tarpaulin was 
placed at the helm for the first hour, Garnet 
relieved him, and Croiser was to take it next. 
Preparatory to this he mounted to the foretop, 
where a joyful sight awaited him. Far away on 
the larboard bow he beheld, as the ship rose on 
the sea, the dull glimmer that proceeded from the 
Eddystone hghthouse. A shout of joy escaped 
him as he fixed his eyes on that well-known 
beacon, and hailed it as a promised restoration of 
life fi'om above. Hastening down, he commu- 
nicated these glad tidings to the party. Charlotte 
was overjoyed; Margarita said nothing, but the 
glance with which she returned his warm pressure 
of her hand, was to him worth a language of 
words. 

*' Eddystone lighthouse, eh, Croiser? Come, 
that's not so bad. On my map they mark it as 
some fifteen miles distant from Plymouth, is that 
right.?" 

" Very nearly. Monsieur. Perhaps it may be a 
little less." 

"Bravo! when shall we be in there, Croi- 
ser? Thou art a prince of a sailor. Ladies, we 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 297 

owe all to your gallant and handsome young 
friend — but for him we should now have been 
with those brave fellows that went down. 
Would to heaven that they were with us. But to 
look back is vain. Tell me, Croiser, when shall 
we arrive in Plymouth .?" 

" If every thing continues favourable, about 
nine in the morning — it is now nearly four." 

" Here, Croiser, bend thy head to me," whis- 
pering, " you are sure you have those papers and 
those jewels safe ? " 

" Safe as myself," pointing to the square little 
case strapped round him. 

" That is right ! suppose we now give the 
ladies a little brandy. They must require it by 
this time. What a grand scene we have wit- 
nessed — how sublime is this storm even now ! It 
is well worth while to have endured our hardships 
to have beheld such a wai* of elements, though," 
adding in a graver tone, " I know not that I 
would dare such a voyage again for such an end." 
" Ah ! Monsieur, grand as it is, it is nothing to 
what I have witnessed." 

" No ? But no ! I dare say it is not." 

" Here, your honour," interrupted Tarpaulin, 

o 3 



298 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

" here's the brandy ; will you serve it out ? 1 dare 
say the ould Major's there, and the skipper can 
rummage out a little provisions, if they unstow 
their after-pouches, for it was foraging in your 
cabin, that kept 'em so much after time. They 
well nigh lost their passage ! " 

Here Puff protested he had nothing about him, 
wondering at the same time how Tarpaulin should 
have known anything about it. This protest was 
correct, for he had taken an opportunity when 
unseen, of devouring the provisions which Tim 
had returned to his pocket. Bombast, however, 
being of a more sordid disposition, yet possessed 
the greater part of his prey untouched, and not 
having been overboard like Puff, it was less wet. 
Being obliged to bring this forth, it fell into Ran- 
nolini's hands. He divided it into three portions, 
which he gave to Charlotte, Margiee, and Lady 
Sapphira, while the owner who was on the watch 
for his share, looked lamentably woe-begone at 
being thus disappointed. 

Lady Sapphira's hysterics did not prevent her 
from dispatching her 'frustrum,' as she would 
have termed it, at once. The twins insisted on 
dividing their portions, of which no one however 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 299 

would accept, save Puff and Bombast, who of all 
the party least required it. Soon the clouds light- 
ening on their starboard quarter, proclaimed that 
tlie sun was once more approaching our hemi- 
sphere, though his bright beams were quenched 
with the mists through which he had to struggle. 

No sun-rise, however glorious, was ever hailed 
with more enthusiastic feelings of dehght ; as day- 
light strengthened, so the factitious luminan,- of 
man paled away, and in its place they now beheld 
the beautiful column of the Eddystone, rising from 
the circlet of foam that surroimded its base. At 
half-past six they passed this superb Hght- 
house, over the summit of which, the water was 
not unfrequently dashed, and then flung back into 
a wild jet of foam. 

Rannohni gazed at this object long and ardenll} , 
until it was left behind ; he then sat down with a 
sigh, a mode which he sometimes used to express 
admiration and envy combined. Yet it was not a 
sigh in which those around could detect its origin, 
but a suppressed expiration of the breath that 
only bespoke his feelings to those accustomed to 
interpret his shghtest meaning. With every mile 
over which their unwieldy bark was propeDed, the 



800 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

spirits of the party rose in proportion. Tarpaulin, 
in particular, contributed much to their amuse- 
ment by his long stories and quaint remarks. 
Hoiu: after hour passed, until they beheld Penlee 
Point on their lee bow, and on the other, the bluff 
precipitous rock of the Mewstone ; with its mil- 
lions of winged denizens covering its summit and 
screeching their wailing cries to the blast. 

With considerable emotion, Margarita contem- 
plated that inauspicious spot, to reach which they 
had first set out, and which they now beheld once 
more, after almost incredible hardships, while 
half of those beings in whose company she 
had last seen it, were no longer in existence. 
However, there was but a short space of time for 
such sombre reflections ; they were rapidly ap- 
proaching the shore. Already on the western side 
of the bay, they beheld the wild surges foaming 
on the rugged rocks that formed the boundaries of 
Mount Edgecumbe. Above these were seen the 
dark and twisted pine-trees, bending to the blast 
which swept over them in all its fury, till at 
length, the old grey ruins of the gothic tower stood 
forth to view on its barren hill. 

As they were therefore compelled to run their 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 301 

vessel on shore somewhere, and as it was utterly im- 
possible to bring such a log to an anchor, Croiser na- 
turally wished to choose some spot on the grounds 
from which the ladies might be easily conveyed to 
the house. For this purpose, Bam Pool appeared 
to be the most desirable place on account of its 
sheltered situation. But to the accomplishment 
of such a project there was a formidable difficulty. 
The reader will remember that in the middle of 
the sound lay St. Nicholas' Island, between the 
western extremity of which and the opposite 
point, jutting out from the Port Admiral's grounds, 
ran a line of rocks under water termed " the 
Bridge." The only time duiing which it was 
possible to pass over this impediment, was at or 
near high tide. There was to be sure a clear 
passage round the other end of St. Nicholas' 
Island, on the opposite side of the bay ; but in 
such a gale, ten to one if the best equipped ship 
could come to the wind and hold her course suf- 
ficiently well to recrossthe bay between the island 
and the main, while in such a wreck of a vessel, it 
would be madness to attempt it, unless with the 
idea of being stranded imder the Hoe to leeward, 
now exposed to the direct influence of the gale, 



302 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

and with the almost certain chance of total de- 
struction on the pointed rocks which fringed the 
base of this hill. The state of the tide therefore 
was a question of the greatest moment. Croiser 
having reflected, came to a decision himself, and 
then asked Tim for his calculation, to see if it would 
coincide. After puzzling for some time on his 
fingers, Tarpaulin asserted that there was yet 
half an hour's flood tide, which agreed so well 
with Croiser's opinion, that he determined to run 
the risk. With this resolution he walked aft to 
take the helm, and steered direct for the narrow 
passage between the island and Mount Edgecumbe. 
Before he went he gave the ladies in charge to 
Rannolini — begged them above all things to keep 
their seats, and left Garnet with them to obey any 
orders they might give. 

Having the utmost reliance on the skill and 
judgment of Tarpaulin, he now took Tim aft with 
him to the helm. As they drifted in, their eyes 
encountered a sight but little calculated to allay 
the fears of people in their situation. The whole 
line of coast surrounding the sound, was one con- 
tinous line of white foam, dotted in numerous 
places with a dark spot, which the saddened eye 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 303 

presently discovered to be a wTeck. On the heights 
above each of these melancholy spectacles, were to 
be seen a crowd of persons attracted by curiosity 
or the hope of spoil, or a few with the charitable 
wish of proving serviceable to their fellow creatures. 
But in too many instances they were obliged to 
behold the last struggling in vain with the resist- 
less might of the maddened elements, sucked by 
the insatiate wave into a watery tomb, or dashed 
in death upon the jagged rocks. 

Turning his eye resolutely from every thing that 
could divert his attention, and bending all his 
faculties to the task which he had to execute, 
Croiser stood on the starboard side of the wheel 
that enabled him to steer the vessel, while Tim, 
more accustomed to the navigation of this dan- 
gerous passage, steadied the spokes to leeward, 
and helped to conn her course. 

" Now, sir! give her a wee bit o' weather 
helm." 

" Take care, Tim, and don't be rash." 

"'Rash'? Not I, your honour! I could steer 
the best craft that ever swam under six hundred 
ton over this bridge and yet sleep sound and 
snoring all the while — steady ! so, sir — now, your 



804 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

honour, a leetle bit o' starboard again. I know 
this passage as well as e'er a water rat does his 
hole — now, starboard again, your honour. I just 
want to bring that blockhouse on with Dick Mor- 
ris's quay, under Mount Wise — so, I've got him. 
Now, your honour, you bring that old green ruin 
on with yonder hummock, and I'll have her over 
the bridge in the twinkling of a bed post ! " 

" Very well, Tim." 

" Steady, so, sir ; steady. Why, your honour's 
sending Dick Morris's quay to * no man's land.' 
Try back a bit, your honour." 

" Why, then, I shall not be able to bring my 
bearings on right." 

" Yes, you will, your honour — so— now. Is 
the hummock on, sir ? " 

" Yes, Tarpaulin." 

" Now, then, sir — now look out. Holdfast; here's 
the rub. Here we go. Hold on. Hah ! 'Vast 
— 'vast heaving! Right your helm. Right — right, 
for your life, sir ! We've struck ! ! " A tremen- 
dous shock, that made the immense mass of their 
vessel quiver from one end to the other, confirmed 
these dreadful words. A sea struck her weather- 
quarter, breaking furiously along the whole length 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 305 

of her deck. A shriek arose from Lady Sapphira, 
anxious as usual, to distract her friend as much as 
possible. " Down with your helm. To leeward 
your honour I down with it ! She's broaching to 1 " 
cried Tarpaulin, making the spokes of the wheel 
Hy round with the greatest rapidity, while his 
gigantic form stood like a rock with the sea 
streaming from it as the waves retired. 

" How is she now. Tarpaulin? Does she go 
off?" 

" Not yet, your honour! We must wait a 
bit!" 

" Now then look out, here comes another sea." 

" Ay, and welcome, sir! Hold on! hold on 
like a young greyhound to his breakfast ! Now 
then, your honour! Right the wheel again ! — quick 
for the body and soul o' ye ! Here she goes — 
we're off! Hurrah, my hearties, we're off! The 
sea that broke upon her stem outstripped in its 
force even the last — a grating sound was heard, as 
if an iron cable was running overboard — a second 
shock, and " She's free, your honour ! she's free ! " 
burst from the delighted Tarpaulin, as the ship 
once more slid off into deep water, and was urged 
forward on her course. " The tide was a little bit 



306 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

lower than our reckoning, your honour, or I be 
bound, give me the time of tide and a craft that 
answers her helm a little more readily, and I'd 
make her spin over that bridge, blow high or low, 
I know!" 

In a few minutes their vessel arrived in Bai'n 
Pool, where the first thing that Croiser beheld on 
shore was the Port Admiral, with all his servants. 
He had seen the vessel strike on the bridge, and 
had hurried out with his usual kindness to afford 
all the assistance in his power. On seeing her get 
afloat again, he rightly conjectured that she would 
most likely strike on some part of the grounds, 
though utterly unconscious of her precious fireight, 
for the safety of whom he had been in the utmost 
despair, until the arrival of the launch sent on 
before by Croiser. Inspirited by this sight, Croi- 
ser joyfully put the helm up to turn aside into 
the little cove in which the poor Pearl had lain 
before, but unfortunately the rudder of the hulk 
had been so much injured by its late collision 
that the huU no longer answered its direction. 

Croiser now beheld that their fate was in other 
hands. " Here, Tarpaulin," said he, " do you 
take this helm, we are driving directly on for that 



A TALE OF THE WAB. 307 

green ruin, as tou call it; sinc^ we can do no 
better, endeavour to keep her so, while I jiunp 
forward, and prepare them for striking." In an 
instant he was on the rafl, Margarita's hand 
was clasped in his, while with the other he re- 
tained a firm hold of a rope. " Hold fast ! ** said 
he, " every one of you; we are about to strike!'* 
Scarcely had the words issued firom his lips, when 
crash went her bow against the shore. Her 
motion once arrested, her stem became the mark 
for every wave ; and propelled by such resistless 
force, she was at each stroke lifted hi^er up on 
the rocks, until one more furious than the rest 
struck her on the weather quarter, and droTC her 
broadside-on upon the shore. As she could now 
go no higher, and the waves made a continual 
breach over her, their only care was to leave her 
as soon and as safely as posj>ible. 

They had been so far favoured in their site 
as to be cast immediately under the walls of the 
little battery, which, as the reader knows, was on 
the left of the harbour entrance. These walls 
once gained, and they were safe. The mode 
of doing this, however, was not very easy. In 
addition to their presenting a perpendicular sur- 



308 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

face of ten feet, they were three or four yards 
distant, while the intervening space was filled 
with sharp craggy rocks, which the foam of the 
sea distinctly showed to general view, while it 
concealed the details necessary for obtaining a 
footing on them. The cat-fall still remained on 
deck. Attaching the end of this rope to the first 
heavy substance which they could find. Tarpaulin 
was instructed to fling it on shore, where the 
Port Admiral's men were directed to make it fast. 
This done, the fish -fall was taken and knotted 
into a pair of slings in the middle, which tra- 
versed the first rope; and one end of it being 
kept on board, the other was flung on shore. 

The ready wit of the Port Admiral immediately 
understood this contrivance, and putting the last 
rope into the hands of his men, held them in 
readiness to run away with it. Croiser in order 
to give confidence risked his person the first, 
but as he was quite certain of its safety, he took 
Margarita with him. It was not for her, of 
course, to raise objections — nay, if the truth 
must be told, she would hardly have felt safe — 
certainly not happy, in the protection of another. 
Having seated himself firmly in the slings before- 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 309 

mentioned, and seen that Margarita was in no 
danger of falling — the signal was given, and the men 
pulled them in; the slings gliding over the first 
cat-fall until they reached the walls of the battery, 
four or five feet above which the rope passed. 

" 'Vast heaving. Boys ! " said the Port Admiral, 
stepping forward with his usual gallantry, when, 
to his utter surprise, he found his youngest 
daughter in the person of her thus narrowly 
snatched from death. " What ! Vv^hy — eh ! Wliat ! 
Good Heaven! can it be possible?" exclaimed 
the brave veteran, folding her in his arms, while 
the tears chased one another over his cheeks, 
" Margiee ! my old girl ! my lost darling ! is it 
you? ^Vhy, how the devil did you come here? 

hang me if I could tell who it was leaping 

into my old arms. God bless my heart and soul, 
and there's Chatty too ! my poor dear Chatty ! " 

But it is unnecessary to detain the reader with 
any further detail. All were landed in safety, 
Croiser having gone back for Charlotte, and 
Rannolini being brought over in the arms of 
Nine-fathom-Tim himself. No sooner did Sir 
Richard behold the foreigner, than he demanded 



310 THE PORT ADMIRAL, 

of Tarpaulin in an imder voice, " Who the deuce 
may we have here ? " 

" A capital chap, and a true bit of stuff, your 
honour!" answered Tim, eyeing the old officer, 
who had on his old glazed hat, great coat, and 
fisherman's boots, with unusual earnestness. 

'* ^True stuff' ! Why, odd rabbit, he's a French- 
man!" 

" I'll answer for him. Nevertheless, your ho- 
nour. Frenchman or no, he wouldn't make off I 
know, and leave a shipmate at low water, as some 
folks have done that I've met with." 

" You ! Oh ! it is you, you long vagabond ? 
and how have you been ? " 

" Umph ! pretty well, sir, pretty well, thank 
ye— and how's your honour's stem -post by this 
time ? ' 

" Hush ! hush ! you rogue ! and pocket this," 
offering a douceur. 

" None of that, thank ye, your honour, I rather 
spin a yam with ye agen some day, and toss 
off a glass of good Schnapps to your honour's 
health, if-so-be it's all the same to you." 

" Well, well, if it's there the land lies, you've 



A TALE OF THE WAR. 311 

only to keep your mouth shut, and you may 
drink the sound dry if you Hke." And Sir Richard 
quickly joined his idohzed children, too much 
rejoiced at their restoration to his arms, to en- 
tertain a thought which was not connected with 
the engrossing topic. 



END OF VOL. II. 



G. Woodfall, Printer, Angel Court, Skinner Street, Londoa. 



/